One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘a gruff reply’
abrupt, brusque, curt, short, blunt, bluff, no-nonsense
surly, churlish, grumpy, crotchety, crabby, crabbed, cross, bad-tempered, short-tempered, ill-natured, crusty, tetchy, bearish, sullen, sour, uncivil, rude, unmannerly, impolite, discourteous, ungracious, unceremonious, offhand
informal grouchy, off, offish
2‘a gruff male voice bade them enter’
rough, hoarse, harsh, guttural, throaty, husky, croaking, rasping, raspy, gravelly, growly, growling
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