Are you sick of the word awesome? I use it all the time in comments, posts, and daily life. I also overuse amazing, fabulous and fantastic. Some words start to feel worn out after a few years while others still remains fresh.
The word cool has been around forever! William Shakespeare used the word a few times in describing someone who is absent of emotion. In Hamlet he wrote “O gentle son, upon the heat and flame of thy distemper, sprinkle cool patience.” How cool is that? William was saying, “Dude. Chillax!”
You know William was cool by how he rocked his earring!
I can imagine William hanging out with his friends and saying, “Gentlemen. I was thunderstruck by an idea for a new stage. I call it, ‘Theater in the round.’ It’s going to be totally cool!” Who knows? We weren’t there.
Gnarly was a popular word in the 1980’s after the success of the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High along with rad (radical), and dude which is still used today.
I did not get sick! I mean I got sick, but I didn’t get what the word sick meant until I heard it overused during a snowboarding competition when a competitor launched him or herself into the air. The commentator said, “Dude! That is some sick air!” Sick=Good. I heard it used at this year’s Aspen Winter X Games, so sick is still around.
When I first heard bad, I didn’t get that one right away either. I overheard my kids saying the French electronic group Daft Punk was “bad.” I asked, “Well, why do you keep listening to them if they’re so bad?”
“No mom. You don’t get it. Bad means good.”
I consulted the Urban Dictionary and typed in the word awesome looking for some new words to replace this ancient superlative. It is defined as, “something Americans use to describe everything.” Duh! I know. That’s what I’m talking about!
On the list of synonyms were amazing (also overused by me), cool (still love it), good, and brilliant. Brilliant is good, but good isn’t awesome.
I researched further. When I looked up the word cool they used neat-o and swell. Seriously? This is THE Urban Dictionary? It sounded like the words you would find scribbled in a 1956 high school yearbook!
“Gee. This softball team sure is going ape! They’re unreal Daddio!”
Recycling words isn’t a bad idea. Groovy made a comeback for a short time – with my kids when they were in middle school, so maybe that doesn’t count. How about terrific! That’s a pretty good word. Or splendid! It may be overused in the UK, but not in the US. Superb, stupendous, and spectacular are great words, but perhaps a bit stuffy and over the top. How about marvelous, magnificent, or stunning? I kinda like stunning!
You must be as sick of fantastic as I am. I mean sick in a bad way, not in a bad means good way. Anyway, I made up the word fantastical. I also put the words fantastic and fabulous together and came up with fantabulous. I thought they were original, but both words were listed in the Urban Dictionary. Dang!
What if I start using the word hideous instead of awesome? Hideous=awesome. I could leave a comment like, “This is really hideous!” I need to get the word out, so everyone knows the hip new lingo. Hey, maybe my new meaning will catch on. That would be awesome!
What words are you sick of?
Here is a splendid word from Professor Elemental
1st three images from Wikipedia, last one from Free Pages at Ancestry.com