Synonyms of brusque in English:
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brusque, blunt, bluff, curt, gruff, surly
Brusque, which comes from an Italian word meaning rude, describes an abruptness of speech or manner that is not necessarily meant to be rude ( a brusque handshake; a brusque reply). Curt is more deliberately unfriendly, suggesting brevity and coldness of manner ( a curt dismissal). There's nothing wrong with being blunt, although it implies an honesty and directness that can border on tactlessness ( a blunt reply to his question about where the money went). Someone who is bluff is usually more likable, possessing a frank, hearty manner that may be a little too outspoken but is seldom offensive ( a bluff man who rarely minced words). Exhibiting gruff or surly behavior will not win friends, since both words suggest bad temper if not rudeness. But gruff is used to describe a rough or grouchy disposition and, like bluff, is applied more often to a man. Anyone who has had to deal with an overworked store clerk while shopping during the holidays knows the meaning of surly, which is worse than gruff. It describes not only a sour disposition but an outright hostility toward people, and it can apply to someone of either sex ( that surly woman at the customer service desk; he became more surly as the day dragged on).
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