Opposite of uncouth?
From: "Steve B"
Is there an opposite of "uncouth?"
I have never heard of anyone being described as "couth".
Mark Wienants was the first to answer with this:
My thesaurus gives the antonyms: "adroit, agile,
athletic, coordinated, dexterous, graceful, nimble, charming,
cultured, polite, refined, sophisticated."
As to the reference for "couth" it is a word, however, it is a
back-formation (a new word created by removing an affix from an
already existing word, as vacuum clean from vacuum cleaner, or by
removing what is mistakenly thought to be an affix, as pea from the
earlier English plural pease).
forrest mubbled this:
COUTH is actually a back formation of the word
UNCOUTH. I've never heard of someone who is just plain WHELMED
instead of OVER and UNDER either.
David K gave us this thought:
It's the same reason that flammable and inflammable
mean the same thing -- English is a silly language!
Actually, the root of the word uncouth is from Old English "cuth",
meaning "familiar" or "known". One of the definitions for uncouth,
in fact, is "uncommon" or "rare", although hardly anyone uses the
word in that way. However, couth IS a word in the dictionary, it's
just that nobody ever uses it. Why the word uncouth made it to
common usage in modern English and couth did not, I can't tell you.
But there are plenty of opposites for uncouth in the sense that most
people use the word (lacking in polish or grace): sophisticated,
rYdAsNaKe sent us this definiton:
Marked by or possessing a high degree of sophistication; refined:
“Many picnics manage without this sophistication, but we like to be
couth and feel that the delicacies of gracious living enhance the
chances” (John Gould).
Refinement; sophistication: “The man has no couth” (Los Angeles
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