unabashed 1

This is not a word that you see being used or taught very much but it does appear from time to time to describe an attitude of confidence and lack of embarrassment or shame.  It has been in use since the 1570’s.

When Joanna first breast-fed her child on public transport, her action gained the unabashed attention of the passengers around her, as if they had never seen anything like it.

“Yeah, we hid his rucksack in the bushes,” said Kevin unabashed.  “We wanted to teach him a lesson for being such a pain.  How could we know he had his medicine in there?”

Lorilda is quite unabashed when describing her work as a sex-worker.

sex worker

The adverb unabashedly and the noun unabashedness exist but are not so commonly used partly one suspects because of their length and awkward pronunciation.

We also have the word abashed and the origin of all these forms is the Anglo – French verb, abair meaning “to astonish”.




Another word that you don’t tend to find being taught or used that often by speakers of English as a second language According to Google’s trawling of the corpus world, it is not however going out of fashion.

There are two main uses of fraught basically:

Sailing in the Indian ocean is fraught with danger given the number of pirates in the area.

Doing up an old house can be fraught with difficulties and hidden structural ‘surprises’.

 So, the first meaning is ‘full of’ and we are referring to negative or unpleasant things.

The other meaning, probably less commonly used, is that of worried, anxious or tense.

fraught party

(Jen Yuson Photography)

The mood at the reception suddenly became fraught when her drunk ex-husband turned up.

 Relations between the two departments are somewhat fraught at the moment since the discovery of the theft.

 What I did not know before is that the word derives from Middle Dutch and means laden with something, like a cargo. So, it is a relative of the word freight! Interesting how some offshoots stand the test of the time!