• boor •
bUêr • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: 1. A crass, ill-mannered person, a lout, a churl. 2. A peasant.
Notes: Someone who acts like a boor is boorish and the nature of a boorish person is boorishness. Remember the double O is pronounced like wood and would.
In Play: Boors were once disparaged, but today: "Seems that in the 21st century obnoxious boors have become as appealing to voters as statesmen." They still are disparaged in some quarters: "Whatever you do, don't invite that braying narcissistic boor Jess Buggov to our soiree next week!"
Word History: Today's Good Word is a hand-me-down from Dutch boer "peasant, farmer", as in the Boer Wars between Britain and the Dutch settlers in South Africa. The Dutch word goes back to Proto-Germanic buro "bearer, one who carries or brings", source also of German Bauer "farmer, peasant" and Dutch buur "neighbor". Buro, in its turn, came from PIE bheuê-/bhouê- "to be, exist, grow". The word came to English as be and booth, without and with a suffix. A form more similar to boer is the -bor in neighbor, in Middle English it was neighebor, from Old English neahgebur, made up of neah "near" + gebur "dweller". (Gratitude needs be shown to our long-time contributor Rob Towart, who thought today's remarkable Good Word was particularly topical currently.)
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