The idiom "rough around the edges" typically refers to something or someone that is not perfectly refined, polished, or finished but has promising potential. It can describe a person, object, or situation.
"Rough around the edges" describes something or someone that might lack polish or refinement but has inherent quality or potential.
The idiom "rough around the edges" conveys an image of something or someone that, while not perfect or refined, possesses intrinsic value or potential. It's often used to describe people with good hearts but lacks social refinement or to describe projects or ideas that are promising but need more work.
Key aspects of the idiom's meaning include:
The phrase "rough around the edges" describes someone or something that is not perfect or polished. People often use this phrase to describe individuals who may lack refinement or sophistication but still possess a distinctive charm or appeal. The phrase's origins are unclear, but it is believed to have been in use since at least the 19th century. The phrase may have originated from the idea of a rough-cut gemstone that has not yet been polished.
"He's a little rough around the edges, but I think you'll find him surprisingly articulate for a Texan."
- Texas Monthly, 1982
Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:
The phrase "rough around the edges" often appears in various forms of media, including books, movies, and music, to describe characters or situations that are imperfect yet have a certain charm or potential.
Some examples include:
There are several alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "rough around the edges."
Some of these include:
"Rough around the edges" describes something or someone that might lack refinement or finish but has inherent quality or potential.
You can use it to describe a person, an idea, or an object that is not perfect or refined but shows promising potential. For example, "The new employee is a bit rough around the edges, but he's a quick learner."
The phrase likely originates from the process of crafting or manufacturing, where an object might be rough or unrefined, especially around its edges, in its early stages.
Yes, the phrase is commonly used to describe the unpolished qualities of objects, places or works of art. For example, "The cabin was rustic and rough around the edges but cozy."
It depends on the context. While it can suggest a lack of refinement, it is often used in an endearing way to refer to someone's quirky charm or authentic appeal. So, it can be either positive, negative or neutral.
Yes, it is appropriate as a humble or self-deprecating way to acknowledge that your own work, talents or techniques still require development and refinement.
Yes, in its original literal sense, "rough around the edges" refers to unfinished or unpolished edges on physical objects like wood, stone or metal. The idiomatic meaning emerged as a metaphorical extension of this literal meaning.
Yes, it can be used to convey that despite imperfections, there is an inherent charm or potential. For example, "This antique chair is a bit rough around the edges, but it has a certain charm."
Both phrases indicate potential despite imperfections. "Rough around the edges" suggests something or someone is generally good but has some minor flaws, while "diamond in the rough" suggests something or someone has extraordinary potential but is yet to be recognized or refined.
Yes, it can be used in a professional context to describe a project, a product, or even an employee who shows promise despite some flaws or lack of refinement.
In summary, the idiom "rough around the edges" is a versatile expression used to describe someone or something that, despite some imperfections or lack of refinement, has inherent quality or potential. This phrase can be used across various settings and subjects, whether it's about a person, an idea, or an object.
Key aspects of the phrase:
While the phrase is adaptable and widely understood, it's crucial to remember that its usage implies a sense of optimism or recognition of potential amidst apparent flaws. Therefore, it's most appropriate in contexts where you want to acknowledge imperfections yet highlight the underlying quality or potential.