Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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Thursday word: selcouth

selcouth (SEL-cooth) - adj., strange, rare, unfamiliar, marvellous, wondrous.


A broad-spectrum synonym for unusual. This is one of those self-describing words, as it's not often found these days outside of the novels of Sir Walter Scott and his imitators -- for its use lasted longer in Scotland than the rest of England. It dates back to Old English, when it was spelled seldcūth, and it's a cousin of uncouth -- but where that drifted from the literal sense of "un-known" towards "outlandish" and thence "uncultured," selcouth stayed with its root meaning of "sel(dom)-known."

"A selcouth novelty," muttered the knight, "to storm such a castle without pennon or banner displayed."

Ivanhoe


---L.
Tags: adjective, old english, s
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