Definition of cack-handed in English:



  • 1Inept; clumsy.

    ‘a great song ruined by cack-handed production’
    • ‘It's just an excuse, really, to dissolve traditional barriers of class and upbringing and simply marvel at how cack-handed people are when they try and do things they know nothing about.’
    • ‘Yesterday, though, there were no such difficulties as the belly putter he adopted just a few weeks back, and the cack-handed grip with which he has been experimenting these past few days, combined to take him out in 32 and back in 30.’
    • ‘But why should an English-based paper want to stir things in such a cack-handed fashion?’
    • ‘It would not be the first example of an unusually cack-handed attempt to get his message across last week.’
    • ‘The subtlety of the original, and the intensity rendered as much by its bleak, thoughtful ending as the stark black and white visuals, are entirely absent from this cack-handed renovation.’
    • ‘Some paintings seem unresolved, even cack-handed.’
    • ‘In the same way that referees who call too much attention to themselves on the pitch demean the spectacle by disrupting everyone's concentration, cack-handed sportscasters are also an obstacle to our enjoyment of live sport.’
    • ‘But have we really got to the stage where a single joke, however cack-handed, brings a whole profession into disrepute?’
    • ‘But I do know good music from bad music, and I can tell the difference between talented musicians and tone-deaf cack-handed wannabes with no sense of rhythm.’
    • ‘The lies listed above may seem obvious or cack-handed, but remember that they don't have to stick.’
    • ‘He said: ‘I can only describe it as an amateurish, cack-handed attempt at health promotion by some staggeringly inept students.’’
    • ‘Did they deliberately conceal what was going on in a cack-handed attempt to allay public panic?’
    • ‘It is difficult to conceive a more cack-handed, clumsy way of running a regional fund programme, even assuming there was a case on enhanced economic performance grounds for doing so.’
    • ‘While this is, at first glance, a compliment, it turns out to be a rather cack-handed one.’
    • ‘From what I'm led to believe it's all been done in a bit of a cack-handed way and in essence it seems he does not care.’
    • ‘But in pragmatic terms, it was the most cack-handed loss of a golden opportunity.’
    • ‘In a kind of cack-handed way, I believe that the public takes a lead from institutions.’
    • ‘I know the police are overstretched but I don't think they leave the investigation of attempted murders to cack-handed private investigators.’
    • ‘Clearly his is a cack-handed attempt to cash in on the growing public desire to take wild places into the ownership and control of the communities that live around them.’
    • ‘So instead I ask the straight girls amongst you to help out the naïve and cack-handed man in your life.’
    clumsy, ungainly, uncoordinated, maladroit, graceless, ungraceful, inept, inelegant, unskilful, unhandy, gauche, gawky, gangling, blundering, lumbering, cloddish
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  • 2derogatory Left-handed.


Mid 19th century: from cack, in the sense ‘excrement’, + hand + -ed.