I am looking for a possible positive form of unkempt.
- My first choice was kempt.
But I am not convinced of its usage. I want to be double sure that kempt has survived in day-to-day usage.
In my experience, Americans only use kempt when they’re trying to be cute. (Cf. Jim’s prior reply.) I’d opt for a more common antonym like neat or tidy.
A rare word after c. 1500; any modern use probably is a whimsical back-formation from unkempt. (etymology.com)
From the fusing of un- “not” with kempt “neat” comes the adjective unkempt. Kempt has fallen out of use, but unkempt persists as a popular word to describe anything unpolished, rough, or disorderly. (vocabulary.com)
- neat, tidy, orderly, groomed, etc.