When did terrific change meaning?

Asked by: Ila Runolfsson
Score: 4.1/5 (43 votes)

Other than this theory, though, it is clear that terrific underwent some kind of semantic change

semantic change
Semantic change (also semantic shift, semantic progression, semantic development, or semantic drift) is a form of language change regarding the evolution of word usage—usually to the point that the modern meaning is radically different from the original usage.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Semantic_change
between the late 1800s and early 1900s. In 1930 Popular Science was still using the term to mean something "frightening", and by the 1940s it was used mostly to mean "good".

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Keeping this in mind, When did terrific become positive?

Today, we still use "terrific" in this negative, terrifying sense, as when we speak of a "terrific explosion." But during the 20th century, "terrific" took on an additional, more positive meaning: "unusually fine, magnificent, splendid."

Similarly one may ask, Is terrific bad or good?. Terrible and terrific are both formed off the same root: terror. Both started out a few hundred years ago with the meaning of terror-inducing. But terrific took a strange turn at the beginning of the 20th century and ended up meaning really great, not terrible or terror-inducing at all.

Similarly one may ask, Where did the word terrific come from?

terrific (adj.)

1660s, "frightening," from Latin terrificus "causing terror or fear, frightful," from terrere "fill with fear" (see terrible) + combining form of facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").

What does terrific really mean?

1 : unusually fine : magnificent terrific weather. 2 : extraordinary terrific speed. 3a : exciting or fit to excite fear or awe a terrific thunderstorm. b : very bad : frightful.

40 related questions found

Who is a terrific person?

(tərɪfɪk ) 1. adjective. If you describe something or someone as terrific, you are very pleased with them or very impressed by them. [informal]

What is Terrific Tuesday?

1 very great or intense.

Why is terrific good but terrifying bad?

Terrible and terrific are both formed off the same root: terror. Both started out a few hundred years ago with the meaning of terror-inducing. But terrific took a strange turn at the beginning of the 20th century and ended up meaning really great, not terrible or terror-inducing at all.

Does terrific mean terrifying?

It was first recorded in English in 1653, the OED says, and still has its original meaning: “causing horror, horrifying.” But “terrific” is a different story. This adjective originally meant “causing terror, terrifying; terrible, frightful; stirring, awe-inspiring; sublime.”

What is the difference between terrific and terrifying?

As adjectives the difference between terrifying and terrific

is that terrifying is frightening or intimidating while terrific is (colloquial) frighteningly good.

Why does bad mean good?

The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang says that, especially in African-American English, “bad” is used to mean “wonderful; deeply satisfying; stunningly attractive or stylish; sexy.”

Is negative a bad word?

The word terrible is very common. It's usually used negatively.

What do you mean by terribly?

Terribly means in a way that's terrible—awfully, horribly, or extremely bad. The adjective terrible has a few different meanings, but the adverb form terribly is usually based on its sense meaning extremely bad or horrible, as in I did terribly on that test or The children behaved terribly this morning.

What is the synonym of terrific?

1'there was a terrific bang' tremendous, huge, massive, gigantic, colossal, mighty, great, very great, very big, prodigious, formidable, sizeable, considerable. intense, extreme, extraordinary, excessive, inordinate. informal mega, whopping, whopping great, humongous. British informal whacking, whacking great, ...

What is the meaning of terrific husband?

someone who spends very few time with his wife/ her husband because of the partner's preoccupation with physical exercise.

What is the root of awful?

Updated 2 years ago. Awful has the original archaic meaning of 'inspiring reverential wonder or fear'. Awe derives it's source from old English, terror or dread.

Why Tuesday is a bad day?

In the Greek world, Tuesday (the day of the week of the Fall of Constantinople) is considered an unlucky day. The same is true in the Spanish-speaking world; it is believed that this is due to the association between Tuesday and Mars, the god of war and therefore related to death.

Why is Tuesday the best day of the week?

Monday is busy, but it's primarily used for catching up and planning ahead. By Tuesday, people are able to start pivoting their attention to individual tasks and deliverables. So, there you have it: Tuesday is one of the best days of the week to have meetings and work toward specific goals.

What is so special about Tuesday?

Tuesday is named after Tiw, the Norse god of single combat, victory and glory, and Tiw is associated with Mars, the Roman god of war, hence the day being known as 'Mardi' in French, 'Martes' in Spanish and 'Martedi' in Italian. Tuesday is considered to be an unlucky day in the Greek and Spanish-speaking worlds.

Can a person be terrific?

Terrific is more like an amazing person or personality, not particularly used for beautiful. But if you say 'terrible person' that means they are not good haha. Thanks so much to all of you!

Is terrific formal?

These are all informal words that describe someone or something that is very good, pleasant, enjoyable, etc. (Fabulous is slightly more old-fashioned than the other words in this set.) ... terrific (informal) extremely good; wonderful:She's doing a terrific job.

Is terrifically a real word?

terrifically adverb (EXTREMELY)

extremely: She's a terrifically talented actor.

What does I'm terribly sorry mean?

adjective. A terrible experience or situation is very serious or very unpleasant. [...] terribly adverb [ADVERB after verb]

What is meant by appallingly?

: inspiring horror, dismay, or disgust living under appalling conditions appalling savagery.

What does grumbled mean in English?

1 : to mutter in discontent grumbled about the scarcity of jobs. 2 : growl, rumble Thunder grumbled in the distance. transitive verb. : to express with grumbling grumbled his annoyance. Other Words from grumble Synonyms & Antonyms More Example Sentences Learn More About grumble.