Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Occasionally, a word will pop into my mind unbidden—usually a word that I would never actively use. That happened yesterday with the word inconcinnity. I have no idea what the trigger was, but there it was, front and center.

The in- in inconcinnity is the negative prefix. The meaning is inelegance, awkwardness, impropriety, and unsuitableness. And yes, there is a concinnity, meaning skilful and harmonious adaptation or fitting together of parts, harmony, congruity, and consistency.

Some variant forms are

  • concinnate: to put together fitly; to set right, arrange duly or neatly; to trim, adjust, prepare fitly.
  • concinnation: skilfully putting together or properly adjusting.
  • concinne: well fitted together, skilfully arranged; harmonious.
  • concinnus: fitly put together or arranged, harmonious; agreeable, elegant, graceful.

The word is indebted to the Latin concinnus, skilfully put together, well-adjusted.

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