Fascinating Changes

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Fascinating Changes

Postby Sabina » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:13 am

The meaning of words can (and often does) change with time... that is still so today. What is interesting, or actually fascinating to discover is just how much some of these words have changed.

girl - from gyrle (Old English), original meaning was young person of either sex
luxury - original meaning was sinful self-indulgence B0)

to tell - original meaning was to count, reckon
knight - original meaning was boy, youth, or servant =0@

pretty - original meaning was cunning, skillful, or artful

And now comes my favorite... only a few days ago I explained that I used to have a problem with the word "nice" because it can mean anything and therefore it means nothing. I had no idea my words were "historical"!

nice - original meaning was... foolish, stupid, senseless (!)

And how did it come to mean what it means today?
Step by step... so let's look at the meanings of the word "nice" through time.

1. nice = foolish, stupid, senseless
2. nice = fussy, fastidious
which turned into...
3. nice = dainty, delicate
which then again meant...
4. nice = precise, careful
bringing us to...
5. nice = agreeable, delightful
to end up with...
6. nice = kind, thoughtful (around the year 1830)

=0@ =0X
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Re: Fascinating Changes

Postby Ryan » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:57 am

Ha ha ha!
That was nice!

Seriously though... very interesting, thank you.
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Re: Fascinating Changes

Postby Metatron » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:48 pm

Agreed, this really was an interesting read. Thank you :)
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