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.
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Current meaning: Very unpleasant
Original meaning: Inspiring wonder, as in “full of awe.” Here are some more words that have completely changed meaning over time.
Current meaning: Someone who mocks or harms those who are weaker
Original meaning: A good fellow or a darling. Linguists believe it evolved from the Dutch word “boel,” meaning “lover.”
Current meaning: Contrived or false
Original meaning: Artfully and skillfully constructed
Current meaning: Evildoer
Original meaning: A trusted farm hand. It used to be spelled villein, and it evolved into the version we’re familiar with today. Learn the origins of some more of your favorite slang words.
Current meaning: A conference or meeting to discuss a particular subject
Original meaning: A drinking party. The word comes from the Greek word “symposion,” which the ancient Greeks used to describe their lively, boozy banquets.
Current meaning: A promiscuous woman
Original meaning: A goofy, mischievous man
Check out these unique words you’ll only find in English.
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Current meaning: A matter of no importance
Original meaning: A hypothetical idea created specifically to be talked about
Here are some words and phrases you’re probably using all wrong.
Current meaning: Indignation
Original meaning: Gratitude
Current meaning: Seeming fair, but falsely so
Original meaning: Fair or beautiful
You won’t believe that these common words were invented totally by accident.
Current meaning: Shockingly bad
Original meaning: Anything that separates itself from a group
Speaking of separating from a group, that’s what you’ll be doing if you learn the true meanings of these common words that everyone gets wrong.