Adjective Two meanings One actual One deriving from the actual That is figurative. Insipid comes from two Latin words ‘In’ meaning not And ‘sapidus’ meaning tasty, in reference to food. Whisk them together Exchange the the ‘a’ in ‘sapid’ for an ‘i’ For ease of use It gives you have in + sipid = insipid Turning to phonetics When I think of insipid I think i-sip-it And when "I sip it" It tastes plain Dull boring. Yet not so terrible that I will spit it out- just forgettable enough where I’d never order that thing again. Thus insipid is really the middle ground, a fulcrum of sorts, between terrible and delicious (sapid). Yet rather than meaning average or mediocre it means absent of anything interesting. Think watered-down beer Think tepid bagged tea from a diner Think wine so light and dry it’s like slurping pressurized air from one of those keyboard cleaners that you should use once a week but you only use once a year…if that. Think Broiled chicken without spices From the use of insipid for food and drink came the figurative development of the word. The result- insipid started describing other nouns, people and objects. My guess is said development went like this: Someone must have gone out with another person that was like gross tea or beer, like forgettable wine, like chicken you swallow purely for protein to feel something in your belly other than lettuce, during the last days of a failed diet, and made the comparison of that person, to these insipid things. I bet the first gesture, that the person who got all figurative with the word applying to humans and such bought the insipid person a beer, to memorialize their insipid conversation While he waited for the insipid music to start that would drown everything out, with those same repetitive triad guitar chords, that strummed in four-four time over and over again with less flavor then that godforsaken broiled chicken without spices.