Definitions

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

  • adj. Lacking social polish; tactless.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Awkward or lacking in social graces; bumbling.
  • adj. Skewed, not plane.
  • adj. Describing a torsion angle of 60°

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Left handed
  • n. Winding; twisted; warped; -- applied to curves and surfaces.
  • n. Lacking grace and perceptivity in social situations; crude; tactless; socially inept.
  • n. Not planar; -- of molecules or molecular conformations.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Left-handed; awkward; clumsy.
  • In mathematics, skew.

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

  • adj. lacking social polish

Etymologies

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

French, awkward, lefthanded, from Old French, from gauchir, to turn aside, walk clumsily, of Germanic origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French gauche ("left, awkward"), from French gauchir ("to veer, turn"), from Old French gaucher ("to trample, walk clumsily"), from Frankish welkan "to full, trample" from Proto-Germanic *welk- (“to full, roll up”). Akin to Old High German walchan ("to knead"), Old English wealcian ("to roll up, curl"), Old Norse valka ("to drag about"). More at walk

Examples

  • If I were strapping a sword and a main gauche, that is.

    Ode to a silver hair found in my hairbrush:

  • Like, when one of the characters extolls Beowulf's deeds and says how his story will live on forever, and you think, yeah, until a millenia and a bit later when it'll get dug up, rewired into a monstrously misshapen thing, painted in gauche muticolour, and made to dance like a monkey-puppet in a Follywood Spectacular.

    Archive 2007-11-01

  • Admission: I'm a southpaw myself, but my main gauche still lags behind its more popular sibling in terms of technique, so I'm not sure how much this would help me.

    Archive 2007-02-01

  • They had begun at once to employ upon him the oldest arts known to woman, and he was not flustered or "gauche" -- a word Winona had lately learned.

    The Wrong Twin

  • “Bella,” chided Mrs. Griffiths, while Myra, recalling a gauche uncle and cousin who had come on from Vermont several years before to visit them

    An American Tragedy

  • Nixon worked his way through a crowd, shaking hands, and in his "gauche" (Brown's word) way, tried to connect with people by asking them, "How does it feel to be free?"

    Only Nixon could go to Ghana

  • I'm not sure: was it considered "gauche" or did the chomping frazzle my father's ...

    Stephanie Gertler: Left-Overs

  • I'm not sure: was it considered "gauche" or did the chomping frazzle my father's nerves?

    Stephanie Gertler: Left-Overs

  • Who's the friggin' "gauche" one, you placenta-burying, nipple scalding freak?

    Belly Achin'

  • Hippy Dippy told Blondie she was "gauche" for asking why she didn't just throw it out.

    Belly Achin'

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • it is hard to get it right!

    Did it run into the left bank?

    October 9, 2012

  • "C.S.S. Virginia struggles to damage the U.S.S. Monitor in this gauche'>gouache">gauche painting which brings to life the drama of close combat with frightening power of armament and devotion to duty."
    Aside from thinking this is a stupid sentence, I am also pretty sure they meant that the painting is gouache. *eyeroll*

    October 8, 2012

  • I once heard it pronounced "goach", which is the goachest thing one can do

    October 30, 2009

  • It can be used as a synonym for clumsy, if that's what you mean...

    (I just checked the dictionary)

    June 16, 2008

  • Is this as pejorative in the French as it is in English?

    June 16, 2008

  • A gauche ganache, served with panache, but leading to bellyache.

    February 19, 2007

  • I love that gauche and ganache are next to each other on your list. They're a lovely pair. And now I'm doing my best to imagine "a gauche ganache."

    February 17, 2007