words which completely changed – (en)

Eight words which have completely changed their meaning over time
Strangely, their original meaning was very different – or totally the opposite – of what it is now.
This originally meant “full of artistic or technical skill”.
Now its meaning has a very different slant:
1. produced by man; not occurring naturally: artificial materials of great strength
2. made in imitation of a natural product, esp as a substitute; not genuine: artificial cream
3. pretended; assumed; insincere: an artificial manner
4. lacking in spontaneity; affected: an artificial laugh
5. biology  relating to superficial characteristics not based on the interrelationships of organisms: an artificial classification
[C14: from Latin artificiālis  belonging to art, from artificium  skill, artifice ]
This comes from the Latin “not to know”. Originally a ‘nice person’ was someone who was ignorant or unaware.
1. pleasant or commendable: a nice day
2. kind or friendly: a nice gesture of help
3. good or satisfactory: they made a nice job of it
4. subtle, delicate, or discriminating: a nice point in the argument
5. precise; skilful: a nice fit
6. rare  fastidious; respectable: he was not too nice about his methods
7. nice and  pleasingly: it’s nice and cool
[C13 (originally: foolish): from Old French nice  simple, silly, from Latin nescius  ignorant, from nescīre  to be ignorant; see nescience ]
This meant “full of awe” i.e. something wonderful, delightful, amazing.
However, over time it has evolved to mean exactly the opposite:
1. very bad; unpleasant
2. not standard  (intensifier): an awful cold day
This once was used to signify “cowardice”. Indeed, its old meaning lives on in the word ‘bravado’.
1. a. having or displaying courage, resolution, or daring; not cowardly or timid  b. ( as collective noun  preceded by the ): the brave
2. fine; splendid: a brave sight ; a brave attempt
3. archaic  excellent or admirable
4. a warrior of a Native American tribe
5. an obsolete word for bully
6. to dare or defy: to brave the odds
7. to confront with resolution or courage: to brave the storm
8. obsolete  to make splendid, esp in dress
[C15: from French, from Italian bravo  courageous, wild, perhaps ultimately from Latin barbarus barbarous ]
From the Latin meaning “to make by hand” this originally signified things that were created by craftsmen.
Now the opposite, made by machines, is its meaning:
1. to process or make (a product) from a raw material, esp as a large-scale operation using machinery
2. ( tr ) to invent or concoct: to manufacture an excuse
3. the production of goods, esp by industrial processes
4. a manufactured product 5. the creation or production of anything
[C16: from obsolete manufact  hand-made, from Late Latin manūfactus,  from Latin manus  hand + facere  to make]
This once meant a “perfect copy”.
Now it means anything but:
1. made in imitation of something genuine with the intent to deceive or defraud; forged 2. simulated; sham: counterfeit affection
3. an imitation designed to deceive or defraud
4. archaic  an impostor; cheat
5. ( tr ) to make a fraudulent imitation of
6. ( intr ) to make counterfeits
7. to feign; simulate
8. ( tr ) to imitate; copy
[C13: from Old French contrefait,  from contrefaire  to copy, from contre- counter-  + faire  to make, from Latin facere ]
Originally this meant “to test”. The old meaning survives in the phrase ‘proving ground’.
Now it means:
1. ( may take a clause as object or an infinitive ) to establish or demonstrate the truth or validity of; verify, esp by using an established sequence of procedures or statements
2. to establish the quality of, esp by experiment or scientific analysis
3. law  to establish the validity and genuineness of (a will)
4. to show (oneself) able or courageous
5. ( copula ) to be found or shown (to be): this has proved useless ; he proved to be invaluable
6. printing  to take a trial impression of (type, etc)
7. ( intr ) (of dough) to rise in a warm place before baking
8. archaic  to undergo
[C12: from Old French prover,  from Latin probāre  to test, from probus  honest]
Its original meaning was “to count”. Which is how we came by the term ‘bank teller’.
1. ( when  tr, may take a clause as object ) to let know or notify: he told me that he would go
2. ( tr ) to order or instruct (someone to do something): I told her to send the letter airmail
3. to give an account or narration (of something): she told me her troubles
4. ( tr ) to communicate by words; utter: to tell the truth
5. ( tr ) to make known; disclose: to tell fortunes
6. to serve as an indication: her blush told of her embarrassment
7. ( tr; used with  can, etc ; may take a clause as object ) to comprehend, discover, or discern: I can tell what is wrong
8. ( tr; used with  can, etc ) to distinguish or discriminate: he couldn’t tell chalk from cheese
9. ( intr ) to have or produce an impact, effect, or strain: every step told on his bruised feet
10. informal  to reveal secrets or gossip (about): don’t tell! ; she told on him
11. ( tr ) to assure: I tell you, I’ve had enough!
12. ( tr ) to count (votes)
13. dialect  ( intr ) to talk or chatter
14. informal chiefly  ( US ) to tell the truth no matter how unpleasant it is
15. tell the time  to read the time from a clock 16. slang you’re telling me  I know that very well
[Old English tellan;  related to Old Saxon tellian,  Old High German zellen  to tell, count, Old Norse telja ]
Words Completely Changed – Dagutigui

About Dugutigui

In the “Diula” language in Mali, the term « dugutigui » (chief of the village), literally translated, means: «owner of the village»; «dugu» means village and «tigui», owner. Probably the term is the result of the contraction of «dugu kuntigui» (literally: chief of the village).
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