Week sixty-eight: UNHEPPEN (probability 37639), by David Sutton

UNHEPPEN is a dialect word meaning clumsy. It is one of the few UN- adjectival words with no matching positive: there is no HEPPEN*. Most such words are archaic survivals: here are some more.

UNBRASTE(Spenser) not braced; with clothing unfastened
UNBRIZZED(Scott) unbruised
UNCOYNED(Shakespeare) uncoined
UNDEFIDE(Spenser) undefied
UNFILDE(Spenser) unfiled i.e. not rubbed with a file.
UNPINKT(Shakespeare) unpinked, i.e. not ornamented with punched holes.
UNREDRESTNot redressed, i.e. without compensation.
UNSHRUBD(Shakesp.) unshrubbed, i.e. without shrubs.
UNSTUFT(Shakesp.) unstuffed.
UNTRIDE(Shakesp.) untried.

Perhaps one can also stretch the list to include UNBERUFEN, from the German and meaning 'not called for', being an exclamation used to avert the ill-luck that may come from a boastful or over-confident statement. There is of course, so far as English goes, no BERUFEN*.


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