From Middle English harsk, harisk(e), hask(e), herris. Century derived the term from Old Norse harsk (whence Danish harsk (“rancid”), dialectal Norwegian hersk, Swedish härsk); the Middle English Dictionary derives it from that and Middle Low German harsch (“rough”, literally “hairy”) (whence also German harsch), from haer (“hair”); the Oxford Dictionary of English derives it from Middle Low German alone.
- Unpleasantly rough to the touch or other senses.
- Severe or cruel.
2011 November 5, Phil Dawkes, “QPR 2 - 3 Man City”, in BBC Sport:
- Great news for City, but the result was harsh on Neil Warnock's side who gave as good as they got even though the odds were stacked against them.
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- (intransitive, slang) To negatively criticize.
- Quit harshing me already, I said that I was sorry!
2008, An Na, The Fold:
- Stop harshing on yourself. Who said you're the ugly sister?
2009, Richard Powers, Gain:
- “Stop harshing on me, Daddy.” “Harshing?” “Don't yell at me. I didn't do anything.”
- (transitive, slang) to put a damper on (a mood).
- Dude, you're harshing my buzz.
1999, Kurt Andersen, Turn of the century, page 508:
- On their third date, Lizzie had actually said to him, "You're sort of harshing my mellow." It made him wonder if she might be stupid, and not just young.
2003, Robert Ludlum, The Janson Directive, page 355:
- "They're mostly mercenaries these days. But whose?" "Serbian mercenaries? You're harshing my groove, man. I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear that...."
2006, MaryJanice Davidson, Undead and Unpopular, page 776:
- "Getting back to the issue of the child," Tina said, harshing our buzz as usual, "I really think you should reconsider...."
2008, Kate William, Secrets - Page 70:
- He's totally harshing my vibe," Lila said airily. "Someone should tell him to get over himself. He's lucky I even invited him!"