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incognito

in-kog-NEE-toh

Context
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To avoid his angry stepfather Big Bubba Lump, Harrison wore a man wig and sunglasses, traveling in disguise or going incognito throughout his hometown. Luckily, Harrisons neighbors knew that he was altering his appearance to remain hidden from Big Bubba Lump, and they helped keep him incognito by calling him “Stu” in public. Even though Big Bubba Lump had a restraining order against him, his actions were unpredictable and oh-so dangerous, so remaining incognito or concealed seemed like the safest thing to do.

Quiz: When might someone want to be incognito?

  • When they are trying not to show how surprised they are by something.
  • When they hope to disguise themselves and hide their identity.
  • When they are new to a situation and want to observe how to behave.

Memory Hook
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Not Into Recognition Albert was not into recognition, so to keep other people from recognizing him he would always go about incognito.

Examples
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  • The incognito of lower class employment is an effective cloak for any dagger one might wish to hide. — Margaret Cho Margaret cho
  • An ordinary Midwestern student works at getting good grades and dreams of going to medical school — until she meets an enticing guy who’s really the Prince of Denmark, visiting her college incognito. —The Christian Science Monitor
  • The Prince of Wales left Washington tonight, accompanied by only his immediate personal staff, for a three-day stay in a Southern Winter resort, where he proposes to remain in strict incognito. —The New York Times
  • 'When I go to those games, I'm very much incognito with a baseball hat on, and I take myself out of the spotlight, because that’s his time,' Joe said. —Sports Illustrated

Word Ingredients
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in- not
cogn learn, known

Someone goes about incognito because he “doesn’t” want to be “known” by others.

Word Theater
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Batman The man who is going to go incognito is the same man who is speaking on the phone!
Incognito

Word Constellation
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Incognito

Word Variants
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incognito adj with concealed identiy
incognito n one whose identity has been concealed
incognita n a woman whose identity has been concealed