August 24, 2016
- feckless (adjective)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : weak2 : worthless, irresponsible
- How do you use it?
- My parents had hoped that as my sister got older she would act more responsibly, but she's just as feckless as ever.
- Are you a word wiz?
"Feckless" comes from combining the earlier word "feck" and the suffix "-less." What do you think "feck" means?"Feckless" stems from the earlier Scots English "feck," meaning "effect" or "majority." The Scots word "feck" is actually a shortening and alteration of the word "effect," but it was used first to refer to a majority or a greater part of something. Of course, there's strength (and value) in numbers, so soon "feck" was used to refer to anything of value. These two meanings were the main influence behind "feckless," which first referred to someone or something that was weak and ineffective, then later to someone or something that was worthless or irresponsible. "Feckless" first appeared in Scots English in the 16th century and soon overtook its linguistic parent, "feck," in popularity.