Wednesday Word – Boorish

Wednesday Word is a weekly post intended to illustrate the meaning and use of a single word. The chosen word will begin with a different letter of the alphabet each week, as Louise (my daughter) and I work our way through the alphabet.

Louise posts on her website:

An Enchanted Place

This week’s word begins with the letter B:



Rough and bad-mannered. ‘Boorish behaviour’

Of or like a boor; coarse; crude; insensitive.


Boor-ish   (bu̇r-ish)

Audio link:


Part of Speech:


Related Forms:

Boor (noun)

boor·ish·ness (noun)
boor·ish·ly (adverb)

Word Origin:

First recorded in 1555–65; boor + ish

Boorish, originally referring to behavior characteristic of an unlettered rustic or peasant. Now it implies a coarse and blatant lack of sensitivity to the feelings or values of others:


barbaric; churlish; coarse; impolite; rude; vulgar; loutish; uncultured; ungracious; rough; swinish; discourteous; country bumpkin; ungentlemanly


delicate; gentle; kind; mannerly; pleasant; refined; polite; charming.

Use the Word in a Sentence:  

1.  Mrs Meredith threw a look of despair at her daughter, whose new boyfriend could only be described as a complete boor.


2. Lord Harcourt tolerated the peasants when they came to help with the harvest on his estate, or to dig ponds, and ditches, but he disliked their boorishness intensely.

Feiernde Bauern (Celebrating Peasants), artist unknown, 18th or 19th century

3. The bus driver looked squarely at the three rowdy football supporters as they got on his bus, cans of beer in hand, and said, ‘We don’t allow drinking or other boorish behaviour on our buses, lads, so I suggest you put your drinks away and quieten down before taking your seats’.



From all the examples of boorish I found, it appears that it and its related forms apply mostly to males. In fact, I found something to that effect on one website I was looking at, then couldn’t find it next time I looked. Duh…

I can only assume the reason for the word’s application to males is due (in part, at least) to it’s origin in connection with country bumpkins, peasants and so on, who worked on the land. I’m pretty sure that the behaviour of some women could also be described as boorish.

If you would like to join us in doing this weekly post, both Louise and I would be happy to see you. You can pick of your own word and illustrate its use in any way you choose (even a short story) or use your chosen word to follow a similar pattern to our posts.


Image  from Shutterstock

5 thoughts on “Wednesday Word – Boorish

    1. Yes, I noticed the difference as I was going through the various online dictionaries. I imagine there are slight differences between several of the words in use on both sides of the Atlantic. Words evolve in different ways in different places. It makes them even more interesting to look up. Thank you for sharing that,:D

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