10 English words that used to have completely different meanings
Many words we use everyday appeared many centuries ago and have witnessed numerous historical changes, that's why their meanings have mutated over time. Read on to find the most outstanding examples of such words.
Here is what modern English words used to mean many years ago:
Until the 13th century, "meat" referred to all types of food.
Until the 17th century, "awful" used to mean the same as "awesome".
"Silly" derives from the Old English word "seely", which meant "blissful".
The meaning of this word has softened over time: when it first appeared in the early 13th century, it meant "ignorant" or "foolish". By the end of the 1400s, it was used to describe someone who was finely dressed. "Nice" only settled down to its modern meaning at the beginning of the 19th century.
In the 1730s, this word appeared as a short form of "acute". One hundred years later, it was turned into student slang in America, meaning "charming, pretty".
It also used to mean "to snap a fan open or closed with a fast move".
"Clue" was actually one of the ways of spelling the word "clew". In folklore, a ball of thread usually guides one out of the maze, which gave rise to the modern meaning.
The meaning we are used to appeared not earlier than in the middle of the 19th century.
The word "myriad" came from the ancient Greek numeral system, where it denoted the number ten thousand.
"Bully" traces its etymological roots to the Dutch word "boel", which meant "lover".
Was this information new for you? Which meaning surprised you the most? Do you know any other words which used to mean something completely different?
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