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9 comments on this post.
  1. Charlie N.:

    There is an oblique connection between the word “ruthless” and the name “Ruth.” I recall a country song with the lyrics, “Now, I’m ruthless as can be, Ruthless since Ruth walked out on me.” It was heard in the 1950-60 era. It sounds like a Homer and Jethro song. Does anyone know for sure who sang it?

  2. Dave Khan:

    My father used to sing a song in which one verse went:

    I rode along on my motorbike
    With Ruth in back of me
    I hit a bump at ninety-five
    And I rode on ruthlessly

    I have no idea where he got the song, but that’s the kind of cornpone humor that appealed to my father.

  3. Robin:

    Evan: your explanation is perfect, as usual, and answers the question that suddenly burned inside me during class today. Or maybe my morning coffee was just too hot.

    The previous two commenters: LOL.

  4. Tim:

    I don’t suppose the word “ruin” may also be connected with this:

    “‘Rue’, in turn, came from the Old English ‘hreowan,’ which meant ‘to afflict with sorrow, pity or regret,’ “

  5. Patricia:

    “ruin” is not from a Germanic word. Therefore, these words are not related.

  6. divide by zero:

    What is to say that “reuthe” was not derived from the biblical name “Ruth”? As you said, it makes good sense.

  7. Ruthful, funct and doleless | Scripturient: Blog & Commentary:

    […] words have been in our language, just fallen out of favour or replaced by other terms. Ruthful, the Word Detective tells us, was in common use in the 12th until the 14th century, although it hung around as an […]

  8. mack:

    I saw that poem in a dunb joke book back in the late 50s. I recently recited it to the guy who sent me this article.

  9. Jill:

    Thank you!!!!

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