I don’t need to get political to notice that there’s too much that’s uncouth in the world: rude, sloppy, nasty, generally unpleasant things and/or people abound.
That’s why I’d rather defend the word couth. My copy of “The Concise Scots Dictionary” (a 1989 edition by Crescent Books, based on a New Orchard Edition of 1911) defines couth as an adjective: “pleasant, kind, affable; comfortable, snug” and as a noun, “kindness.”
Calling someone couthie, then is saying they’re “kind, pleasant, agreeable, affable; tender, sympathetic; snug, comfortable; well-to-do.”
Couthless has a much shorter entry: “cold, unkind.” Not so far from the American “uncouth.”
Could we be missing couth and couthie as qualities because we are losing the words? Let’s get these words some use and see what happens!
Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook. Be couthie — try it!
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