One of my favorite pejorative adjectives is the word maladroit, which is synonymous with "clumsy". That's just the prefix mal-, which meant "bad" and comes from Latin malus (from Proto-Italic malo, from Proto-Indo-European mel, also "bad"), attached to the word adroit, meaning "dextrous" or "skillful". The term was borrowed from French, which put together the prefix a, here meaning "on the", and the root "droit", meaning "right". So someone who is maladroit is "bad on the right". That's right, we've found another etymological bias toward right-handedness, much like how we've seen sinister and gauche ultimately being associated with the left. Droit, through Old French, traces to Latin directus ("straight"; the etymon of direct), which is composed out of the prefix dis-, meaning "apart", and regere, "to guide".
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.