10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean

Thanks to cultural changes, incorrect translations, and a host of other reasons, word meanings often shift over time. Here, ten words that have done a 180.

By Beth Dreher from original and
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    Awful

    Current meaning: Very unpleasant

    Original meaning: Inspiring wonder

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    Bully

    Current meaning: Someone who mocks or harms those who are weaker

    Original meaning: A good fellow or a darling

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    Symposium

    Current meaning: A conference or meeting to discuss a particular subject

    Original meaning: A drinking party

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    Artificial

    Current meaning: Contrived or false

    Original meaning: Artfully and skillfully constructed

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    Villain

    Current meaning: Evildoer

    Original meaning: A trusted farm hand

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    Harlot

    Current meaning: A promiscuous woman

    Original meaning: A goofy, mischievous man

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    Moot point

    Current meaning: A matter of no importance

    Original meaning: A hypothetical idea created specifically to be talked about

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    Resentment

    Current meaning: Indignation

    Original meaning: Gratitude

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    Specious

    Current meaning: Seeming fair, but falsely so

    Original meaning: Fair or beautiful

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    Egregious

    Current meaning: Shockingly bad

    Original meaning: Anything that separates itself from a group

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