Etymology of the phrase ‘cack-handed’
caca “excrement,” a nursery word but a very ancient one (PIE *kakka-), forming the base word for “excrement, to void excrement” in many I.E. languages; e.g. Gk. kakke “human excrement,” L. cacare, Ir. caccaim, S.Cr. kakati, Armenian k’akor. Etymologists dispute whether the Gmc. words (Du. kakken, Dan. kakke, Ger. kacken; O.E. cac-hus “latrina”), are native cognates or student slang borrowed from L. cacare. The word in this form appears in English slang c.1870, and could have been taken from any or several of the languages that used it (Spanish, Modern Greek).
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