Rude, rough, crude, raw, callow, green, uncouth mean deficient in the qualities that make for finish or for perfection in development or in use.
Rude, as applied to men and their minds, suggests a comparatively low state of culture or a dearth of learning more often than savagery or barbarism, although it may suggest the latter.
As applied to the things which men make or do, rude suggests the makers’ ignorance of technique or of proper materials, their inexpertness or inexperience or a deficiency of materials.
Rough (see also ROUGH 1 ) usually suggests more harshness or violence than rude and a more culpable ignorance or inexperience. As applied to men and their manners, the term usually implies the absence of signs not only of polish and refinement but of gentleness, politeness, and often even civility. It does not, however, necessarily imply boldness, insolence, boorishness, or other unpleasant qualities.
As applied to men’s works and products, rough suggests less lack of expertness or deficiency of materials than offhandedness, haste, or indifference to technique; it is typically applied to things which are not carefully made because they suffice for the purpose or are not yet finished, being in an early stage of a process or development.
Crude may be applied to men and their acts, words, or products, but it gets its fundamental implications from its historically earlier application to things which have not been touched by man (as in processing, refining, or treating) and are as yet in their natural state or in an undeveloped state.
Consequently when applied to men or their acts, words, or products, crude implies the far remove of what is so described from what is perfected, highly developed, or fully civilized.
Raw, which in the earliest of its present senses describes the condition of uncooked food, is often further applied to natural products which are gathered, mined, or otherwise removed from their native places but are not yet processed or are in the earliest stage of manufacture or processing; thus, raw silk names the fiber from the cocoons of the silkworm as it is drawn from them and reeled; raw hides are stripped from the carcasses of animals but are not yet tanned or dressed; raw milk is as yet unpasteurized; the raw materials from which the miller produces flour are various cereal grains.
As applied to men, their minds, or their product, raw , more than crude, suggests the elementariness of the untried and the inexperienced.
Callow is nearly always applied to youths or to those who retain the signs of immaturity in manhood; it usually suggests naïveté, simplicity, lack of sophistication, but not so strikingly as does crude, and its suggestions of inexperience or present unfitness are not so strong as those of raw .
Green derives most of its connotations from green as applied to fruit and implying unripeness and unfitness for use. The term often comes close to raw when applied to persons and their abilities because it suggests inexperience and lack of necessary training.
Often, however, it additionally connotes simplicity or gullibility. But green is also used of products or sometimes of the raw materials of manufacture or processing which are not yet fully seasoned or cured.
Uncouth retains from other senses a strong implication of strangeness and is appropriately applied to what seems strange in comparison to what is felt as normal or finished or excellent, whether because crude and clumsy especially in appearance or because lacking in polish and grace or because deficient in cultivation and refinement.