from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Bad handwriting.
  • n. Bad spelling.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Bad spelling.
  • n. Bad handwriting.
  • n. The act of exhibiting these traits

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Incorrect or bad writing or spelling.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Bad writing or spelling.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. poor handwriting


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek κακός (kakos, "bad") + γράφω (gráphō, "to draw"). Believed to have been introduced in the late sixteenth century, with the emergence of printing technologies and standard lexicon, the need for orthographic spelling was mandatory as opposed to the prior method of spelling upon personal preference.


  • And Nicodemus has a disability, called cacography, that causes him to misspell texts simply by touching them.

    “Spellwright” by Blake Charlton (Reviewed by Robert Thompson)

  • My error was to think "cacography" might have been linked with cack-handedness, an apposite connection for some of us.

    Ephems of BLB

  • Wizard Apprentice Nicodemus had thought to be the prophesied Halcyon, but is afflicted with cacography, which stuns his growth as a magician.

    REVIEW: Spellwright by Blake Charlton

  • If he owed to Smollett's Humphrey Clinker the form of his Up the Rhine, he has equalled Smollett in the narrative, in the variety of character, and in the admirable cacography of Martha Penny.

    English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History Designed as a Manual of Instruction

  • In "The Gold-Mines of Midian," p. 338, this name became, by virtue of the author's cacography, "Beoche."

    The Land of Midian — Volume 1

  • And yet, upon careful examination we find a method, a system, in Underhill's orthography, or rather in his cacography.

    Sabbath in Puritan New England

  • Nicodemus Weal was once believed to be the prophesied savoir, but hopes and dreams were crushed when it was discovered that he suffers from cacography – the inability to spell correctly in magical languages.

    Archive 2010-03-01

  • I love new words, one of my favourites was cacography and another, deltiology both of which apply to me.


  • Artemus Ward, from Maine, wrote a flat Down-Eastish dialect that relied heavily on pointless ( "sed" for "said") or drastic ( "goak" for "joke") cacography and lacked Kelly's lyricism.


  • R. L.cke, ( "Petroleum V. Nasby"), have used bad spelling as a part of their machinery; while R.bert H. Newell, ( "Orpheus C. Kerr"), Samuel L. C.emens, ( "Mark Twain"), and more recently "Bill Nye," though belonging to the same school of low or broad comedy, have discarded cacography.

    Brief History of English and American Literature


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  • Shitty handwriting

    March 8, 2010

  • (kuh-KOG-ruh-fee)

    1. Bad handwriting.

    2. Incorrect spelling.

    From caco- (bad), from Greek kakos (bad) + -graphy (writing). Caco is ultimately from the Indo-European root kakka-/kaka- (to defecate) which also gave us poppycock, cacophony, and cucking stool. Opposites of today's word are calligraphy (beautiful handwriting) and orthography (correct spelling). A related word is cacology.

    "Before I could think of quitting, my boss enlightened me on the virtues of my handwriting, which was sheer cacography: 'Your writing is in direct competition with the Harappan script that still had the hope of being deciphered in the distant future.'"

    Vikram Kumar; Positions Very Vacant; The Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India); Apr 15, 2008.

    "They Nerds Inc. have taken advantage of cacography in a novel way. ... They registered more than 90 of the most probable misspellings of popular Web addresses afforded by the QWERTY keyboard, for processing by"

    Thomas W. Holcomb Jr.; Nerds Inc. Turns Typos Into On-Line Advertising; The New York Times; Jun 2, 1997.

    A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg

    August 12, 2009