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Unkept vs. Unkempt

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Do you describe someone with a sloppy appearance as being unkempt or unkept? A garden that’s been neglected might be described as unkept, but when it comes to personal appearance, someone who’s disheveled is far more commonly described as unkempt, a word that derives from the past participle of Middle English kemben, meaning “to comb.” Disheveled is related to the French word for “hair,” cheveaux, and originally referred to someone with tousled hair or who is lacking hair entirely. This is part of a complete episode.

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