Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



From Middle English churl, cherl, cheorl, from Old English ċeorl ‎(a freeman of the lowest class, a churl, a countryman, husbandman, a hero, husband, man, male person, a man of inferior class, peasant, rustic, commoner, layman), from Proto-Germanic *karilaz ‎(man, elder), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵera-, *ǵrā- ‎(grown-up, old, mature). Cognate with Scots churl ‎(a churl, a rustic), North Frisian tzierl, tjierl, tsjerl ‎(fellow, man, churl), West Frisian tsjirl ‎(fellow, churl), Dutch kerel ‎(man, churl, fellow), Low German kerl, kerel, kirl ‎(man, fellow, churl), German Kerl ‎(man, fellow), Swedish karl ‎(man, fellow), Icelandic karl ‎(a male), Polish karzeł ‎(a small man). The deprecating sense develops by 1300. The variant carl, carle (without derogatory connotation) is a loan from the Old Norse cognate. See carl, carle.



churl ‎(plural churls)

  1. A rustic; a countryman or labourer; a peasant.
    • Emerson
      Your rank is all reversed; let men of cloth / Bow to the stalwart churls in overalls.
  2. A rough, surly, ill-bred person; a boor.
    • Sir Philip Sidney
      A churl's courtesy rarely comes, but either for gain or falsehood.
  3. A selfish miser; an illiberal person; a niggard.
    • Drayton
      like to some rich churl hoarding up his pelf
  4. (Theodism) a freedman, ranked below a thane but above a thrall


See also[edit]

External links[edit]

[1] [2]