mid-14c., "not prepared," from un- (1) "not" + ready. In English history, applied to Anglo-Saxon King Æðelræd II (968-1016), where it preserves the fuller original sense of Old English ungeræd "ill-advised, rede-less, no-counsel" and plays on the king's name (which means "good-counsel"). The epithet is attested from early 13c. Old English ræda "advise, counsel" is related to read (v.). Rede "counsel" survived in poetic usage to 17c. An attempted revival by Scott (19c.) failed, though it is used in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings."