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Quare, as in Peculiar

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Theresa in Lyman, South Carolina, says her mother has long used the word quare to describe someone who is “odd” or “set in their ways” or otherwise “peculiar,” as in They’re the quarest people I’ve ever met. The term quare, also spelled quar, reflects the Irish pronunciation of the word queer, and its distribution in the United States reflects Scot-Irish settlement patterns. Quare in this sense simply means “peculiar,” and can also be used as an intensifier, as in It’s quare hot today. Likewise, the phrase to go quare has nothing to do with sexual orientation; it simply means “to seem unusual.” This is part of a complete episode.

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