rough and ready: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘rough and ready’ mean?

The idiom "rough and ready" means something or someone that is not refined or polished, but is practical and effective in a basic way.

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The idiom "rough around the edges" is closely related to "rough and ready." It refers to someone or something that may be unpolished or lacking refinement, similar to the concept of roughness in "rough and ready." However, "rough around the edges" specifically highlights the imperfections or flaws in someone or something, suggesting that they may need some polishing or refining in certain areas.

Another related idiom is "quick-and-dirty," which shares the idea of roughness or lack of refinement. "Quick-and-dirty" is often used to describe a temporary or expedient solution that is not intended to be perfect or long-lasting, but serves its purpose in a practical or immediate sense. This idiom emphasizes the speed and efficiency of a solution, even if it may not be the most sophisticated or elegant.

He gave a hasty, makeshift speech without preparing.

The idiom "roughen up" is also related to the concept of roughness in "rough and ready." It means to make something rougher or less refined, whether it be a physical object or an idea. "Roughen up" suggests intentionally adding or emphasizing rough or unrefined qualities, possibly for the purpose of creating a specific effect or aesthetic.

An article about "rough and ready" would not be complete without mentioning these related idioms. "Rough around the edges" and "quick-and-dirty" highlight different aspects of roughness and lack of refinement, while "roughen up" adds the notion of intentionally roughening or emphasizing rough qualities. These idioms further enrich our understanding of the concept of roughness and its various applications in language and everyday life.

"rough and ready" is an idiomatic expression that originated in the English language. It describes something or someone that may be unfinished or unrefined, yet still effective or functional. The idiom reflects the resourcefulness and pragmatism of early settlers, who had to make do with what they had. Over time, "rough and ready" has come to encompass not only materials and objects, but also people and their skills. The idiom has found its way into various contexts and is used to describe a wide range of things, from works of art to individuals' styles and manner of speaking. "Rough around the edges" and "quick-and-dirty" are related idioms that add nuances to the concept of roughness, while "roughen up" introduces the idea of intentionally adding rough qualities. Together, these idioms contribute to our understanding of the multifaceted nature of roughness and its significance in language and culture.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom *rough and ready* can be used in a sentence:

  1. Despite its rough and ready appearance, the old truck still runs smoothly.
  2. The team's rough and ready strategy led them to victory in the game.
  3. Her cooking style is very rough and ready, but it always tastes delicious.

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