Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday Word

I almost skipped over this word today until I read the last definition...

Scabrous \SKAB-ruhs\, adjective:
1. full of difficulties.
2. having a rough surface because of minute points or projections.
3. indecent or scandalous; risqué; obscene: scabrous books.

Scabrous is related to the common word scab. Both terms come from the Latin word scaber meaning "rough."  via

There's no doubt in my mind that some folks out there would consider the picture above indecent or scandalous, while others would see it as obscene.  I, myself, find it beautiful, touching, artistic and yes, perhaps a touch risqué.  It seems possible that my issue is not so much with the word scabrous (though I'm not crazy about the sound) but the adding of risqué to the definition.  

Here's the definition of risqué...

Daringly close to indelicacy or impropriety; off-color: a risqué story.
Indelicate not indecent
Off-color is certainly true
And I would add my own words to this definition - tantalizing, sexy, naughty.
To link risqué with scabrous, devalues the word risqué.
More than likely mindset plays a big part in the use of these words.  If someone were to call me or my writing scabrous, I'd feel some offense.  But call me risqué and I'll smile happily for days.


  1. Wow, that is interesting. I certainly never knew 'scabrous' was connected to risque. Of course, risque in my generation basically came to mean sexually tantalizing. Whereas, risque in the Old West days would likely mean indecent, tainted, scandalous sexual behavior.

    The pic is art, imo.

  2. Yep, sexually tantalizing, that's how I think of risque. ;)

    Definitely art. :)