"Ignorant" = "rude" a Scotticism?

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Fri Jun 25 11:54:32 UTC 2004

From:    James Smith <jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM>

: I have heard "ignorant" used for "rude" here in Utah
: as long as I can remember.  Lots of descendants of
: Scottish immigrants here, including me, but I can't
: say this use of "ignorant" is or is not limited to
: that group.

In fact, in Utah (at least along the Wasatch Front), 'ignorant' may have as
its *primary* definition 'rude'.

As someone else noted, 'rude' underwent a similar shift (from 'unlearned'
to, well, 'rude') a while back, and 'villian' went through a different but
reasonably similar shift, as well. Makes me wonder if there's a pattern
there, where a word meaning a lack of book smarts is more likely than the
average word to turn into a word meaning a lack of social smarts.

Incidentally, not this definition, but the word 'ignorant' was also involved
in one of my favorite linguistic cartoons--an editorial cartoon in the Salt
Lake _Tribune_ (IIRC--it may have been a different Wasatch Front paper) that
had a sign painter with a shirt labeled "English-only movement" walking away
from a freshly painted billboard reading "Dont't be ignernt!"

David Bowie                                         http://pmpkn.net/lx
    Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
    house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
    chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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