Root & Synonym Clusters 4: “Hard to Get Along With”

Do you know any, um, how shall we say, difficult people? Yeah, me, too. Here’s a great list of challenging SAT words that all mean, roughly, “hard to get along with.” The subtle differences in meaning, for the philologists out there, follow below. For most folks, especially SAT takers, just knowing that all these words describe people who are, for one reason or another, cranky, hostile, aggressive, difficult, and just plain hard to get along with.


belligerent  (“belli” = “war,” as in antebellum) – hostile bellicose – warlike recalcitrant – stubborn and uncooperative intractable – stubborn and unruly truculent – aggressively defiant fractious – irritable and quarrelsome irascible – easily angered obstreperous – difficult to manage petulant – childishly bad-tempered peevish – easily irritated cantankerous – bad-tempered, argumentative contentious – argumentative pugnacious – inclined to fight

Here’s a great rap by Josh Wagner to help you remember all these “Hard to Get Along with” words:

Click here to download the CPE Hard to Get Along with Rap by Josh Wagner

Lyrics to the rap:


Belligerent- I’m hostile like Jeffrey Dahmer

Are you feeling somber? That’s cuz I spiked your Arnold Palmer

Check your heart with a with a stethoscope I’m constantly feeling Bellicose

pick up my gear and run into fear like a world war 2 bomber


I’m a Communism stopper, pugnacious, like the Soviets

Ready to go at it – stack my back with first aid kits

I’m easily angered, irascible- when im mad im intractable

I’m stubborn and unruly, don’t dodge me im impassable


Obstreperous SAT words got me boiling over

Like a pan on high temperature, petulant, bad-tempered

Do you remember first grade when I was uncooperative

I would run around recalcitrant, eating all the dryer lint


I’m aggressively defiant, like a truck I must be truculent

Cuz when a truck is changing lanes you cant be fighting to keep your placement

To my amazement, here’s another word that means I wanna fight

Fractious, oh and I’m contentious, I’m always right

Click here for more Roots & Synonyms Clusters

and other posts and “PrepTalk” shows about vocab and vocab building

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