Awful / Awkward / Awesome

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2 comments on this post.
  1. FortyArc:

    There are a whole bunch of words like ‘awesome’ that today mean something positive but that used to be more neutral or even negative.

    Wonderful used to mean surprising, curious, or shocking. Something that is wonderful makes you think and wonder.

    Fabulous has the same root word as fable, and (like incredible) used to mean something that was too strange to believe.

    Fantastic used to mean something out of imagination or fantasy that wasn’t or couldn’t be real.

    Terrific comes from terror and referred to something that was frightening.

    I keep running across that use of wonderful in Jane Austen, and I think I’ve found fantastic and terrific in their older meanings used by H.G. Wells.

  2. English (language): Why is "awesome" positive and "awful" negative? - Quora:

    [...] the 18th century, probably from repeated use of “awful” to mean “so bad as to inspire awe.”http://www.word-detective.com/20…Via Gene Linetsky.Comment Loading… • Post • 9:31am  Add [...]

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