Word of the Week: Uncouth

As an avid reader and editor, I’m always trying to expand my vocabulary for multiple reasons. One, I just love words and discovering where they originate. Two, the more I know, the more helpful I am as an editor. Three, I love using fifty cent words people haven’t heard before that give me an excuse to talk about words some more!

With these “Word of the Week” blogs I hope to continue teaching myself and hopefully entertain (maybe teach?) some of you along the way.

Uncouth

  • Not known or not familiar to one
  • Strange or clumsy in shape or appearance; lacking in polish and grace
  • Awkward and uncultivated in appearance, manner, or behavior

 

Word Info

This word is first recorded being used in the 1510s and comes from an Old English word meaning “to not know”. It appears to have been most popular during the 1700s and began losing popularity in usage by the early 1800s. Today it’s seen as an archaic word.

 

Why I like it

Who doesn’t like a word that is meant as an old-fashioned dis?

Plus, I love classic literature where you find older words like this. It’s pretty simple, but those reasons are why I like this word.

 

Reminds me of…

In general, this is one of those words that reminds me of classic literature because of its archaic connotation. Frankenstein for example uses uncouth a few times throughout it, like in “He was an uncouth man, but deeply imbued in the secrets of his science.”

This word really just gives me a picture of a guy in a nice suit with a top hat and a cane who thinks he’s really important (more important than he actually is) walking around calling everyone else uncouth. Maybe that’s too childish, but it’s exactly where my brain goes.

 

 

So, now you’ve heard my opinion, what’s yours? Like the word? Hate it? Plan to use it in the near future? I’d love to hear about it!

 

Let me know your favorite words in the comments (maybe you’ll be the one inspiring the next “Word of the Week”)!

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