Gauche is a French-borrowed term, that is used mostly in posher environments.
It is a synonym to being awkward, lacking social skills and grace.
The term was adopted from the French word for left, and its verb, gauchir, which literally means to turn away, or to veer.
It first appeared in the English language around 1745 and 1750, though it never truly became popular, for which the strongest explanation is that it stayed in the lingo of the upper classes, who were well versed in French, while the lower class had its own term for feeling socially awkward.
Spread and Usage
The expression’s popularity peaked in the 1700’s and since then it had been a rarely encountered gen in the English tongue.
It is a fine way of bringing new color into one’s vocabulary, as “gauche” is an elegant sounding, expressive English term.
The word was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2004, with a couple of other entries and definitions being uploaded since that time.
- Urban Dictionary – Gauche