chu΄rlish. (1) Rude; brutal; harsh; austere; sour; merciless; unkind; uncivil.
A lion in love with a lass, desired her father’s consent.
The answer was churlish enough, He’d never marry his daughter to a brute. L’Estrange’s Fables.
(2) Selfish; avaritious.
This sullen churlish thief,
Had all his mind plac’d upon Mully’s beef. King’s Mully of Mountown.
Note: The “churlish” definition above is the one written by Doctor Samuel Johnson in his 1755 Dictionary of the English Language. I happened upon it one day and inspired, followed the word’s history and etymology as far and deep as a longish internet work-break would allow me. It’s a fascinating journey and further proof of the “universe in a grain of sand” theory. Like other fine words, which I need not mention, “churlish” and “churl” have fallen into disuse, but not for reasons of political correctness. Perhaps they just seem too acutely unkind. A few years ago, an old friend reminded me that once, at college, in the student snack-bar, I called a person who is now the New York Times Chief Drama Critic a churl, but I have no memory of this at all – the event or the person (to whom I would like to apologize if I did and possibly make it up to him with an invitation to drinks, dinner, and two seats on the aisle for something good, which he would need to provide, Broadway tickets being so ruinously expensive).
Amazing to find that Canada actually produced a major-label recorded classic-era psychedelic rock band called The Churls. Crystal Palace (below) isn’t bad – much better than Princess Mary Margaret, which is a little Spinal Tap in their early Status Quo period for me. The costuming is a remarkable reminder that there’s no business like show business.