A catchy word that could be the sound of charcoal on paper – or dirty fingernails scraping for lice. The boat bookended in the middle produces at best a faint resonance; the stronger echoes seem to come from scratchy, catchy, itchy, edgy, and to a lesser degree the adventuresome or dodgy words starting with sk (skin, ski, skill, skew, skink, skit, skank, and so on) and the either chic or nasty words ending with a front vowel and ch (rich, fetch, match, bitch, kvetch, lech, wretch, etc.). But of course if you only know this word as relating directly to artwork, drawings, and impressions thereof, the more louche tones will be faint. If, on the other hand, your acquaintance with this term is founded more on its residence on the same block as dodgy and dicey, then the bon ton will be drowned out by the scraping of rusty razors (or of skis on rocks). The word comes from sketch, of course, which comes from an Italian word from a Latin word from a Greek word for something done offhand or extemporaneously. One may suspect that its less proper use has gone through a few of the, well, sketchier neighbourhoods of language change to get where it is.

One response to “sketchy

  1. Pingback: scuzzy | Sesquiotica

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