I'm on the train with Somerset Maugham again (on now to another of the nine novels, this time Of Human Bondage) when we chance to meet a new character who thinks of our hero as supercilious. (He couldn't be more wrong, but then, such are the hazards of judging other people.) Anyway, this is one of those words I tend to soldier through each time I come across it, thinking I have enough of an idea of what it means that I can get by without picking up a dictionary. Context clues, anyone? But now that I can move my Kindle cursor right to it and have the definition just appear... well, an entire new vocabulary is at my disposal. Did you know that supercilious (which, by the way, is defined as "behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others") comes from the Latin word superciliosus ("haughty"), which is from supercilium -- "EYEBROW" ?!
I love stuff like this. Talk about human behavior. I think from now on I'll just start referring to snobby people as eyebrow-y.