Saturday, April 14, 2007

Random thought while drinking tea.

"Feckless"

What? Lacking or without "feck"?

Apparently, according to the Shorter Oxford (I don't have enough bookshelf space to keep anything longer), it is of Scottish or Northern English origin, with "feck" meaning "the better part", "the purpose" or "efficacy".

So rather than being a faux-polite way of writing "fuck" (in a pronounced Irish accent), the current use of "feckless" is actually appropriate to the (putative) original meaning of the source word.

S-E

2 comments:

james higham said...

Gee, you're doing well to even have the Shorter. I can't manage more than the Concise.

Surreptitious Evil said...

I am fairly sure it was a Folio Society special offer. One of these things that you get because it saves you £hundreds (pace wives & daughters everywhere) but actually turns out to be quite 'useful'.

S-E

 
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