Did you know that "awful" first originated as a compliment? How about the fact that it was perfectly fine for someone to defecate in their living room? Or that at one time a bully was actually a sweetheart?
You may think that these things sound outlandish, but hundreds of years ago, the words "awful," "defecate," and "bully" meant something entirely different than what we know today. The Unexpected Evolution of Language reveals the origins of 208 everyday terms and the interesting stories behind their shift in meaning. Arranged in alphabetical order, you will enjoy uncovering the backstories to terms like:
Awful - worthy of respect or fear; inspiring awe
Bimbo - slang for a stupid, inconsequential man
Defecate - to purify; cleanse
Invest - to clothe; to dress
Nice - foolish; stupid
Relay - hunting term meaning fresh pack of hounds
From "aftermath" and "sophisticated" to "empty" and "prestige," you will aboslutely love seeing just what kind of damage time has done to the English language.