"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Monday, 4 February 2013

Igly, ugsome, ugglesome and uglisome

Igly is one of those words that isn’t in my Shorter Oxford Dictionary but it is one of a number of spellings of a word used to mean more ugly than ugly.  It appears in Chaucer’s ‘Caterbury Tales’ during the Clerk’s Tale. 

Ugsome is a more usual word and was frequent almost to the 17th century and was then revived by Sir Walter Scott in ‘The Antiquary’ (1816) – “Like an auld dog that trails its useless ugsome carcass into some bush or bracken.”    Ugglesome and uglisome were 16th century versions.  

This is ugglesome in action -
The Urban Dictionary defines igly as meaning both ugly and cute at the same time. In ehich case this is igly by my reckoning...

Igły is also a village in the administrative district of Gmina Stary Targ in northern Poland. I assume Igly isn’t igly.

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