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10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean
« on: May 03, 2018, 07:44:25 PM »

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

BY BETH DREHER

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.

Awful

shutterstock_155430077-760x506 - 10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean - Learn English Online
ALEX EMANUEL KOCH/SHUTTERSTOCK

Current meaning: Very unpleasant

Original meaning: Inspiring wonder, as in "full of awe."


Bully

shutterstock_1009247875-760x506 - 10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean - Learn English Online
OLENA YAKOBCHUK/SHUTTERSTOCK

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."

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Republic Act 8485 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998, Philippines), as amended and strengthened by House  Bill 6893 of 2013--- violation means a maximum of P250,000 fine with a corresponding three-year jail term and a minimum of P30,000 fine and six months imprisonment

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islander

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Re: 10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 07:49:33 PM »

Artificial

shutterstock_685733662-760x506 - 10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean - Learn English Online
JACOB LUND/SHUTTERSTOCK

Current meaning: Contrived or false

Original meaning: Artfully and skillfully constructed


Villain

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SYDA PRODUCTIONS/SHUTTERSTOCK

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.

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islander

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Re: 10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2018, 07:55:02 PM »

Symposium

shutterstock_795020338-760x506 - 10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean - Learn English Online
LSTOCKSTUDIO/SHUTTERSTOCK

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.


Harlot

shutterstock_457785835-760x506 - 10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean - Learn English Online
RIDO/SHUTTERSTOCK

Current meaning: A promiscuous woman

Original meaning: A goofy, mischievous man

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Re: 10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 07:59:23 PM »

Moot point

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MONKEY BUSINESS IMAGES/SHUTTERSTOCK

Current meaning: A matter of no importance

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


Resentment

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WOWSTY/SHUTTERSTOCK

Current meaning: Indignation

Original meaning: Gratitude

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Re: 10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2018, 08:04:27 PM »

Specious

shutterstock_653606206-760x506 - 10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean - Learn English Online
MAKISTOCK/SHUTTERSTOCK

Current meaning: Seeming fair, but falsely so

Original meaning: Fair or beautiful


Egregious

shutterstock_1016244157-760x506 - 10 Words That Mean the Opposite of What They Used to Mean - Learn English Online

Current meaning: Shockingly bad

Original meaning: Anything that separates itself from a group

https://www.rd.com/culture/

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