Word of the Day : July 21, 2017

gauche

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adjective GOHSH

Definition

1 : lacking social experience or grace; also : not tactful : crude

2 : crudely made or done

Examples

"We were described by our parents as classless and free, but instructed that chewing gum was gauche." — Kira von Eichel-Butler, Vogue, October 2016

"The second thing I did was request soy sauce, which wasn't on the table. The waiter managed to remain calm and respectful while dryly informing me that all necessary condiments are already infused into the dishes in the appropriate combinations. My request had apparently been quite gauche…." — Gene Weingarten, The Key West (Florida) Citizen, 21 May 2017



Did You Know?

Gauche is one of several words that come from old suspicions or negative associations surrounding the left side and use of the left hand. In French, gauche literally means "left," and it has the extended meanings "awkward" and "clumsy." These meanings may have come about because left-handed people could appear awkward trying to manage in a right-handed world, or perhaps they came about because right-handed people appear awkward when they try to use their left hand. In fact, awkward comes from the Middle English awke, meaning "turned the wrong way" or "left-handed." On the other hand, adroit and dexterity have their roots in words meaning "right" or "on the right side."



Test Your Vocabulary

Unscramble the letters to create an adjective that means "left-handed": RNLASITIS.

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