19 Phrases & Words That Have Completely Changed In Meaning

Language is always evolving so the origin of an idiom or word is less important than the common meaning, but it still makes for interesting trivia. Read on for 19 instances of semantic drift over time.


  EGREGIOUS WHAT WE extremely bad THINK IT MEANS remarkably good ITS ORIGINAL The current meaning MEANING derived from using it ironically. CRACKED Source: Mental Floss


 MY COUNTRY,  RIGHT OR WRONG WHAT WE Nationalism, THINK IT regardless of MEANS circumstance It's my country to change as needed. ITS ORIGINAL My co


 CURIOSITY  KILLED THE CAT WHAT WE don't stick your THINK IT nose in other MEANS people's business worrying too much ITS will kill you ORIGINAL MEANRead more: The 5 Most Frequently Misused Proverbs


  BIMBO WHAT WE an attractive but not THINK IT intelligent MEANS woman ITS a brutish man ORIGINAL MEANING As in, himbos move aside, a bimbo is cominSource: The Guardian


  GIRL WHAT WE female THINK IT a child MEANS ITS a child of any gender ORIGINAL MEANING As in, only girls should play with dolls. CRACKED.COM Source: The Guardian


  DAPPER WHAT WE well-dressed, stylish THINK IT MEANS heavy-set ITS ORIGINAL Definitely not MEANING as applicable to Ryan Gosling. CRACKED COM Source: Mental Floss


THE EXCEPTION PROVES' THE RULE WHAT WE One exception THINK IT doesn't undermine MEANS the rule. The rule works in all other circumstances. ITS ORIGINASource: Grammarist


  HANDICAP WHAT WE THINK IT a disability MEANS a medieval process of securing a fair deal, ITS where two tradesman ORIGINAL would drop coins in MEANSource: The Guardian


 BEG THE  QUESTION WHAT WE It raises THINK IT a question. MEANS It is a logical fallacy of assuming the ITS conclusion. ORIGINAL It originated with Source: Urbo


  AWFUL WHAT WE terrible, bad THINK IT MEANS awe-inspiring ITS ORIGINAL As in, your band is MEANING awful, I swear. CRACKED COM Source: Mental Floss


  BUXOM WHAT WE THINK IT full-figured, curvy MEANS ITS meek, obedient ORIGINAL Definitely not MEANING as applicable to Nicki Minaj anymore. CRACKED.Source: Mental Floss


  DEFECATE WHAT WE to THINK IT poop MEANS to purify ITS ORIGINAL As in, it's not unusual MEANING to drink defecated water. CRACKED COM Source: Mental Floss


  MYRIAD WHAT WE a countless amount THINK IT MEANS 000 ITS ORIGINAL Greek mathematicians MEANING gave it a countable, if still large, meaning. CRACKSource: Mental Floss


JUSTICE IS BLIND WHAT WE THINK IT Justice is unbiased. MEANS Justice is so corrupt it cannot see right ITS from wrong. ORIGINAL MEANING The blindfoldeRead More: 5 Common Sayings You Use All The Time With Awful Origins


A ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS WHAT WE Don't settle down. THINK IT MEANS Settle down. ITS In it's original ancient ORIGINAL Roman meaning, MEANING moRead more: The 5 Most Frequently Misused Proverbs


THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING WHAT WE The final results are THINK IT the best judgement. MEANS Judgement can only be reached by ITS experience. ORIGINALRead more: The 5 Most Frequently Misused Proverbs


  MOMENT WHAT WE THINK IT a brief period of time MEANS 90 seconds ITS ORIGINAL As in, I only have a MEANING moment. It's been a minute and half, timSource: The Guardian


BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER WHAT WE Put family first. THINK IT MEANS Your comrades are more important than ITS family. ORIGINAL The blood of the MEANRead more: The 5 Most Frequently Misused Proverbs


BASKET CASE WHAT WE an emotionally THINK IT disturbed MEANS person a derogatory term ITS for a quadruple ORIGINAL amputee who MEANING would need to usSource: Grammarphobia


For more surprising origins behind common words... The word Villain The phrase Blue Blood originally meant household staff. actually means pale-ski

22 Ordinary Words With Terrifying Origins