cack-handed

adj
British
clumsy, inept. The term originally meant left-handed, probably deriving from the idea of handling cack (excrement). Although the connection seems obvious, this expression is probably too old to be influenced by reports of the Muslim prac-tice of eating with the right hand, wiping away excrement with the left. This pejora-tive adjective seems to be country dialect in origin; it is now fairly widespread and not particularly offensive.
► a cack-handed attempt at patching up the dispute

Contemporary slang . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cack-handed — ► ADJECTIVE Brit. informal 1) inept; clumsy. 2) derogatory left handed …   English terms dictionary

  • cack-handed — 1. lacking skill with your hands. Rob made a cack handed attempt to fix the door and now it won t close at all. She doesn t strike me as the practical sort she s a bit cack handed. 2. lacking skill in the way that you deal with people. What… …   New idioms dictionary

  • cack-handed — [19] Cack comes from a 15thcentury dialect verb meaning ‘defecate’, which probably came from Middle Dutch cacken. It goes back via Latin cacāre to an ultimate Indo European base *kak , from which a lot of other Indo European languages get words… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • cack-handed — [19] Cack comes from a 15thcentury dialect verb meaning ‘defecate’, which probably came from Middle Dutch cacken. It goes back via Latin cacāre to an ultimate Indo European base *kak , from which a lot of other Indo European languages get words… …   Word origins

  • cack-handed — [[t]kæ̱k hæ̱ndɪd[/t]] ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you describe someone as cack handed, you mean that they handle things in an awkward or clumsy way. [BRIT, INFORMAL] Liz may be good at her job, but she is cack handed. Syn: clumsy …   English dictionary

  • cack-handed — UK [ˌkækˈhændɪd] / US [kækˈhændəd] adjective British informal someone who is cack handed does not do things in a skilful way and often drops or damages things …   English dictionary

  • cack-handed — cack hand·ed (kăkʹhănʹdĭd) adj. Chiefly British 1. Left handed. 2. Awkward; clumsy.   [Perhaps from Old Norse keikr, bent backwards; akin to Danish keite, left handed.] * * * …   Universalium

  • cack-handed — cack hand|ed [ˌkæk ˈhændıd] adj BrE informal [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: Perhaps from Old Norse keikr bent backwards ] careless and tending to drop things, or badly done = ↑clumsy …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cack-handed — cack hand·ed …   English syllables

  • cack-handed — adj. colloq. 1 awkward, clumsy. 2 left handed. Derivatives: cack handedly adv. cack handedness n. Etymology: dial. cack excrement …   Useful english dictionary


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