linguistics

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  • In historical linguistics, it refers to the any change in the meaning(s) of a word through the development of languages over the course of time.
  • Also called semantic shift, lexical change and semantic progression.
  • "Semantic change is not a change in meaning per se, but the addition of a meaning to the semantic system or the loss of a meaning from the semantic system while the form remains constant." --David P. Wilkins

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Semantic Change: How Words Evolve Over Time

blog.csoftintl.com

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The Meaning Of "Pretty"
  • The word is from Old English "prættig" which means "cunning"
  • By the 15th century, people used it to describe something that is made cleverly or artful.
  • Over time, the modern use for the word pretty is not used to describe someone who is attractive and good-looking or pleasing to the eyes. The word is often thrown as a compliment, mostly towards females.
  • There are, however, ironic ways to use "pretty". Phrases like "pretty pass" or "pretty state of affairs"

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Five words that don’t mean what you think they do

theconversation.com

5 IDEAS