Of dialectal origin, likely from Middle English louten (“to bow, bend low, stoop over”) from Old English lutian from Proto-Germanic *lutōną. Cognate with Old Norse lútr (“stooping”), Gothic 𐌻𐌿𐍄𐍉𐌽 (lutōn, “to deceive”). Non-Germanic cognates are probably Old Church Slavonic лоудити (luditi, “to deceive”), Serbo-Croatian lud and Albanian lut (“to beg, pray”).
lout (plural louts)
- A troublemaker, often violent; a rude violent person; a yob.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:troublemaker
- 1906, Stanley J[ohn] Weyman, “The Dissolution”, in Chippinge Borough, New York, N.Y.: McClure, Phillips & Co., OCLC 580270828, page 6:
- But the lout looked only to his market, and was not easily repulsed. “He’s there, I tell you,” he persisted. “And for threepence I’ll get you to see him. Come on, your honour! It’s many a Westminster election I’ve seen, and beer running, from Mr. Fox, […] when maybe it’s your honour’s going to stand! Anyway, it’s, Down with the mongers!”
- A clownish, awkward fellow; a bumpkin.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:bumpkin
- c. 1580 (date written), Philippe Sidnei [i.e., Philip Sidney], “[The First Booke] Chapter 13”, in Fulke Greville, Matthew Gwinne, and John Florio, editors, The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia [The New Arcadia], London: […] [John Windet] for William Ponsonbie, published 1590, OCLC 801077108; republished in Albert Feuillerat, editor, The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia (Cambridge English Classics: The Complete Works of Sir Philip Sidney; I), Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: University Press, 1912, OCLC 318419127, page 89:
- The faire Pamela, whose noble hart I finde doth greatly disdaine, that the trust of her vertue is reposed in such a louts hands, as Dametas, had yet to shew an obedience, taken on a shepeardish apparell […]
- c. 1590–1591, William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene iv], page 35, column 1:
- Sebaſtian, I haue entertained thee, / Partly that I haue neede of ſuch a youth, / That can with ſome diſcretion doe my buſineſſe: / For ’tis no truſting to yond fooliſh Lowt;
- (obsolete, transitive) To treat as a lout or fool; to neglect; to disappoint.
- 1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene iii], page 112, column 1:
- Renowned Talbot doth expect my ayde, / And I am lowted by a Traitor Villaine, / And cannot helpe the noble Cheualier: […]
- (intransitive, archaic) To bend, bow, stoop.
- 1885, Richard F[rancis] Burton, transl. and editor, “The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad”, in A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, now Entituled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night […], volume I, Shammar edition, [London]: […] Burton Club […], OCLC 939632161, page 88:
- He took the cup in his hand and, louting low, returned his best thanks […].