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90s Slang You Should Know


[gohsh] /goʊʃ/
lacking social grace, sensitivity, or acuteness; awkward; crude; tactless:
Their exquisite manners always make me feel gauche.
Origin of gauche
1745-55; < French: awkward, left; Middle French, derivative of gauchir to turn, veer < Germanic
Related forms
gauchely, adverb
gaucheness, noun
Can be confused
gauche, gouache.
inept, clumsy, maladroit; coarse, gross, uncouth.

à gauche

[a gohsh] /a ˈgoʊʃ/
adverb, French.
on or to the left-hand side. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gauche
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The truth was, I did not like her, and was too young, too ignorant and gauche to try to smooth over my dislike.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • The gauche boy gone from him, Milt took her hand, pressed it to his cheek.

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis
  • He was ashamed now when he recalled the gauche sense of superiority that had showed itself in bad manners.

    The Narrow House Evelyn Scott
  • He felt awkward, gauche, tongue-tied, hot and cold by turns.

  • A person who is not at ease or sure of his ground tends to be stiff and gauche.

    Windfalls (AKA Alpha of the Plough) Alfred George Gardiner
  • It is not that gauche happenings are serious offenses, no matter how awkward the incident.

    Etiquette Emily Post
  • Labour, in such indolent and self-possessed acres, was a crude and gauche idea.

  • My eyes glanced around to see the effect produced on my friends by my gauche cousin.

  • He came forward with a gauche gallantry, and offered his arm to Horatia.

    Sarah's School Friend May Baldwin
British Dictionary definitions for gauche


lacking ease of manner; tactless
Derived Forms
gauchely, adverb
gaucheness, noun
Word Origin
C18: French: awkward, left, from Old French gauchir to swerve, ultimately of Germanic origin; related to Old High German wankōn to stagger
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gauche

"awkward, tactless," 1751 (Chesterfield), from French gauche "left" (15c., replacing Old French senestre in that sense), originally "awkward, awry," from Middle French gauchir "turn aside, swerve," from Old French gaucher "trample, reel, walk clumsily," from Frankish *welkan "to full" (cloth), from Proto-Germanic *wankjan (cf. Old High German wankon, Old Norse vakka "to stagger, totter;" see wink (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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