Churl



[churl] /tʃɜrl/

noun
1.
a rude, boorish, or surly person.
2.
a peasant; rustic.
3.
a niggard; miser:
He was a churl in his affections.
4.
English History. a freeman of the lowest rank.
/tʃɜːl/
noun
1.
a surly ill-bred person
2.
(archaic) a farm labourer
3.
a variant spelling of ceorl
n.

Old English ceorl “peasant, freeman, man without rank,” from Proto-Germanic *kerlaz, *karlaz (cf. Old Frisian zerl “man, fellow,” Middle Low German kerle, Dutch kerel “freeman of low degree,” German Kerl “man, husband,” Old Norse karl “old man, man”).

It had various meaning in early Middle English, including “man of the common people,” “a country man,” “husbandman,” “free peasant;” by 1300, it meant “bondman, villain,” also “fellow of low birth or rude manners.” For words for “common man” that acquire an insulting flavor over time, compare boor, villain. In this case, however, the same word also has come to mean “king” in many languages (e.g. Lithuanian karalius, Czech kral, Polish krol) via Charlemagne.

in Isa. 32:5 (R.V. marg., “crafty”), means a deceiver. In 1 Sam. 25:3, the word churlish denotes a man that is coarse and ill-natured, or, as the word literally means, “hard.” The same Greek word as used by the LXX. here is found in Matt. 25:24, and there is rendered “hard.”

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