BUXOM. Heartburn. Inmate.
While some words keep the same meaning forever, others can change dramatically over a few short years.
Here are the original meanings of 15 words that have now taken on a new life, according to the website MentalFloss.
Previous meaning: Of or belonging to art.
While it’s now quite an insulting remark, calling someone artificial used to be a compliment!
Previous meaning: A divinely power.
Today it signifies a person’s appeal and charm, but the word charisma used to be associated with supernatural elements such as restoring sight to the blind, and performing other miracles.
Previous meaning: Meek, obedient.
What a rather, ahem, different meaning this word has taken on!
Previous meaning: Deserving of awe.
From one extreme to the other …
Previous meaning: 10,000.
Greek mathematicians were rather specific about the meaning of this word, while nowadays it’s a much more generalised term to mean “countless or great in number”.
Previous meaning: To suddenly and passionately say something; to exclaim
MentalFloss quoted this rather double entendre-filled sentence from Jane Eyre as an example of the word’s previous meaning: “The sleepers were all aroused: ejaculations, terrified murmurs sounded in every room; door after door unclosed; one looked out and another looked out; the gallery filled.”
Previous meaning: Jealousy or hatred.
It may seem like a similar sensation for those suffering from it, but it’s definitely not the same thing anymore!
Previous meaning: Lover, sweetheart, wonderful.
The meaning of this Germanic word started to deteriorate in the 17th century to become “harasser of the weak”.
Previous meaning: A person who dwells with others in the same house.
These days, if you called your roomie an “inmate”, they wouldn’t be thrilled.
Previous meaning: Heavy-set.
Not exactly a compliment in the olden days.
Previous meaning: A frothy liquid.
Would have been a tasty drink while playing the board game version!
Previous meaning: Terrifying.
Nowadays, few would say: “I just saw a terrific accident on the highway”.
Previous meaning: A low-life.
This word used to describe thieves and cheaters … wait a minute …