Linked Questions

11 votes
4 answers
90k views

Origin of current slang usage of the word 'sick' to mean 'great'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How and why have some words changed to a complete opposite? How did 'sick' come to mean 'awesome' or 'really good / cool' in modern U.S. slang? I'm interested in origins and ...
Victor Van Hee's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
42k views

What gave "terrific" a positive connotation? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How and why have some words changed to a complete opposite? I have noticed that: horrible means bad terrible means bad horrific means bad So why does terrific mean good?
Renan's user avatar
  • 697
0 votes
1 answer
729 views

Changes in meaning of "bad" and "bad ass" [duplicate]

How did the definition of bad change over time? When did it change to mean good?
ThisIsWhat's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
118 views

Reversal in word meaning [duplicate]

Are there any words that were pejorative but are now used in a positive way? Obviously, there are slang words that have changed meaning, but are there any others?
Jerry's user avatar
  • 1
33 votes
16 answers
15k views

Words with opposite meanings in different regions

I can't recall it, but there is a word in American English which now means the opposite of itself in British English. What words are there that have opposite (not just different) meanings in different ...
29 votes
3 answers
5k views

Can anyone provide me with a list of English words that are their own antonyms? [closed]

I am looking for a list of all English words that are their own antonyms. Off the top of my head, I can only think of "either", "fast", "to dust" and "to lease", but there must be dozens more. Can you ...
RegDwigнt's user avatar
  • 97.4k
5 votes
4 answers
3k views

How did "kill" get its positive connotations?

For example: She made a killing on the stock market. The comedian killed the audience — they were slain with laughter. Did this meaning develop slowly over time or did some person or ...
Zairja's user avatar
  • 6,912
1 vote
4 answers
5k views

What is the name of this figure of speech?

I've been reading Nevil Shute books recently, and they are set in late-1940s Britain. As a consequence, the characters are always using expressions such as "frightfully good", "terribly good" and "...
Brian Hooper's user avatar
  • 36.9k
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Are words with negative meaning used to describe positive things by the youth? [closed]

In Germany, kids of age 10 to 15 tend to evolve a language pattern that uses a certain word that has a negative connotation to describe everything they approve of, be it an impressive slam-dunk or ...
npst's user avatar
  • 271
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

How often do words change meaning then revert back to their original meaning?

Words can change meaning over time. A good example of this would be 'gay' which has changed from meaning 'merry' to 'homosexual'. Over the past decade, it has also taken on pejorative connotations. ...
dave's user avatar
  • 3,755
4 votes
0 answers
354 views

Etymology Moderne of ... "sick", "bad", and words we hardly consider being the opposite any more [closed]

Somewhat prosaically, it was stated that the origin (or at least the coining practice likely used) of the word "sick" to mean "awesome", or "cool", or "astounding" ... itself used the word "cool", ...
GoatGuy's user avatar
  • 119