churl

A churl is a rude or nasty person. The basketball player who's constantly jabbing opponents with his elbows and deliberately tripping them is a churl.

Churl comes from the Old English ceorl, "peasant," and originally that's exactly what it meant: a commoner, or person who didn't belong to the nobility. During the 15th century, the word became somewhat negative, meaning "a low fellow," and by the 1800s it meant "person inclined to loutish behavior." Today churl is less common than its related adjective churlish, but it's still a great name for someone who's vulgar and mean.

Definitions of churl
  1. noun
    a crude uncouth ill-bred person lacking culture or refinement
    synonyms: Goth, barbarian, boor, heathen, peasant, tike, tyke
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    type of:
    disagreeable person, unpleasant person
    a person who is not pleasant or agreeable
  2. noun
    a bad-tempered person
    synonyms: crank, crosspatch, grouch, grump
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    types:
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    crab, crabby person
    a quarrelsome grouch
    fire-eater, hothead
    a belligerent grouch
    misanthrope, misanthropist
    someone who dislikes people in general
    misogynist, woman hater
    a misanthrope who dislikes women in particular
    misandrist
    a misanthrope who dislikes men in particular
    type of:
    disagreeable person, unpleasant person
    a person who is not pleasant or agreeable
  3. noun
    a selfish person who is unwilling to give or spend
    synonyms: niggard, scrooge, skinflint
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    types:
    pinchgut
    a niggardly person who starves himself (and others)
    type of:
    hoarder
    a person who accumulates things and hides them away for future use
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