nesh

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English nesh, nesch, nesche, from Old English hnesce, hnysce, hnæsce (soft, tender, mild; weak, delicate; slack, negligent; effeminate, wanton), from Proto-Germanic *hnaskuz (soft, tender), from Proto-Indo-European *knēs-, *kenes- (to scratch, scrape, rub). Cognate with Scots nesch, nesh (soft, tender, yielding easily to pressure, sensitive), Dutch nesch, nes (wet, moist), Gothic 𐌷𐌽𐌰𐍃𐌵𐌿𐍃 (hnasqus, soft, tender, delicate). Compare also nask, nasky, nasty.

Alternative forms[edit]

  • nish (Newfoundland English)

Adjective[edit]

nesh (comparative nesher, superlative neshest)

  1. (now UK dialectal) Soft; tender; sensitive; yielding.
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book XIII:
      Therefore thou arte more harder than ony stone, and woldyst never be made neyssh nother by watir nother by fyre [...].
  2. (now UK dialectal) Delicate; weak; poor-spirited; susceptible to cold weather, harsh conditions etc.
  3. (now UK dialectal) Soft; friable; crumbly.
Usage notes[edit]
  • This is a fairly widespread dialect term throughout Northern England and the Midlands.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English neschen, from Old English hnescan, hnescian (to make soft, soften; become soft, give way, waver), from Proto-Germanic *hnaskōną, *hnaskijaną (to make soft), from Proto-Indo-European *knēs-, *kenes- (to scratch, scrape, rub). Cognate with Old High German nascōn ("to nibble at, parasitise, squander"; > German naschen (to nibble, pinch)).

Verb[edit]

nesh (third-person singular simple present neshes, present participle neshing, simple past and past participle neshed)

  1. (transitive) To make soft, tender, or weak.
  2. (intransitive, dialectal, Northern England) To act timidly.

Anagrams[edit]