This is so Hideous!

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.

Spicoli is thinking, “Dude! Check it out. These babes are fine!”

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.”

“Oh!”

They are so bad!

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

165 thoughts on “This is so Hideous!

    • Hideous is a uni-sex word so put it out there, use and abuse it, make sure you throw it at someone so it “sticks!” I am hoping to make it mainstream so one day when it is on TV or in a movie, everyone can say, I was there when hideous ( = awesome) was introduced for the first time!

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  1. Totally hideous post, Susie. I’ve been trying not to use “awesome” and “amazing” so much in comments lately, but they seem like the perfect words at times. ‘Wicked’ seems to be another word that’s used for awesome these days.

    It’s so funny that you brought up the new meaning of ‘sick.’ When it first became popular a few years ago, my one daughter told me that my top looked sick. “It does?” I asked, feeling awful. “That’s a good thing, Mom,” she said. “Sick means good.”

    Slang is something else isn’t it? I didn’t know ‘groovy’ made a brief comeback. That’s really swell, neato, peachy keen! This is a marvelous post, darling! (Did you pick up on the movie star voice there? LOL!)
    Oh, I found out that surfers were saying “dude” back in 1970, and they also wore board shorts then, too! My novel takes place in 1971,
    and I’m digging all the old slang we used back then! Even though ‘bitchen’ (yep, I know it’s spelled wrong but that’s how everyone spelled it in their yearbook comments) was popular back then, I never liked it. I used to say, “Far out, man!”

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    • Remember “right on?” We also said, “Choice!” but I don’t know it it was regional. It occurred to me that there has to be “that” person that introduces a new word to a group.
      TV programs really help to get slang out there, but back in the day, it was really by word of mouth.
      I just thought of “dope” which means good! I have heard “wicked good.”
      Good luck with your book! I bet it will be bitchen and hideous!
      Thanks Lynn!

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    • Thank you so much Serena!
      I too have been trying to find better words and it does take longer, but I am so sick of using the same superlatives!
      I hope it catches on.🙂

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  2. Hmm, very good topic. Having an MA in English and coming from a teaching background, I have seen almost all of it. However, not everyone appreciates “slang” or terms we like. I was always taken by the phrase “Far Out!”. John Denver used it a lot and I really liked his music. It was, well, awesome! Anyway, one of my night professors gave us an assignment to write about a particular phrase we liked and why. I chose “Far Out”, wrote it and received…drum role… a 0 over 0 %. I, of course, argued this with him. I asked him how he could give a 0% on effort (at least) when I followed the assignment’s guidelines. He would not budge and that remains the lowest grade I have ever gotten on a college level or higher assignment. By the way, I figured out what he liked to hear and pulled an A- in the class, so there!
    Scott

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  3. Cute post, Susie! I suspect the word I overuse the most is ‘cool.’ Second in line would be ‘sweet!’

    At least it’s not as bad ad some I’ve heard. I think it often depends on where you live but ‘squirrely’ and ‘bat sh**’ were really popular when I lived up north. Amazingly enough, no one down here used either. 🙂

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  4. I DEFINITELY think you could make “hideous” work. And I do love when words get recycled; I toss in a “dope” or a “fly” every now and then for good measure. I’m at the point now, though, where sometimes I’m not sure if my slang is outdated or not. Luckily, I happen to think the use of outdated slang is mad funny, yo😉

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  5. I way overuse both awesome and epic. And with my group of friends, fantastic doesn’t mean something good or great. Fantastic tends to be used sarcastically, as in “The cat puked on the Egyptian sheets again? Fantastic.”
    When I was a teen and the valley girl rage was all the thing, I used awesome even more than I do now (if that’s even possible) and my grandma and mom would respond by saying “Groovy!” “Cool!” Every. Time. I got over that pretty quickly.
    I like hideous. I also think we should bring back the cat’s pajamas. This blog is totally the cat’s pajamas!

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    • Thanks so much Blissflower! I didn’t know about fantastic, but that is really funny!
      I remember overusing the word “awesome” in the 80’s. That is hilarious how your mom and grandma responded!
      You are the cat’s pajamas too!

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  6. I use a lot of ‘awesome’. Every time I appreciate something, ‘awesome’ has to be part of the sentence! And the weird part is that I like the word. So, I just don’t want to get over it.🙂 I know it’s super-overused now… Exactly why I switched to super-awesome! And your post is not just super-awesome, it’s super-hideous!😛

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    • Wow! Thanks! You are super Hideous too! It’s been really hard, but since I wrote this, I haven’t typed it or said it, that I am aware of. I love the word too, but I thought I should start thinking out side the “a*****e” box… Thanks for coming by to read!

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  7. Great commentary, Susie. I wrote an essay entitled “Classic, the New Old” ranting about classic cars, classic movies, etc. This means Dirty Old Men can now be referred to as Dirty Classic Men. Sounds better, don’t you agree?

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    • I have to remember to say that the next time my friend is literally struck by confoundment of God-like proportion! Hahaha! That is totally “hideous!”
      Thanks so much for coming by to read!

      Like

  8. HAHA This was a great post, and then you went out with a bang! Its SPLENDID! Yes Indeed! :-)! Everything moves in circles in life. I honestly think that the old style earings and ridgemont high fashion trends will be coming back around soon. If not then we may be fashion-time-traveling back to the 70s! I have seen a couple of women down here in south florida wearing the fringe vests – here is a picture for reference http://www.thisnext.com/item/84DE071F/1970s-Womens-suede-hippie-vest
    Good post overall!🙂

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    • Thanks for coming by Michael! Those hippie vests look authentic! I am imagine everyone is flocking to buy one “to keep warm” down there in South Florida… Hahaha!
      Stop by again soon and have a truly “hideous” day!

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  9. This reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld where Elaine has the same feelings that you do, only she’s tired of this dude using the word “breathtaking” to describe everything …first her and then an “ugly” baby. It was a pretty funny episode. Crazy Elaine.

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  10. Gaze – loathe the word!

    In romance writing they gaze at nothing. They gaze up and down and into the distance. They gaze into eyes, at mouths, hands, hair, legs, breasts, nipples – get the picture? I HATE the word gaze. It’s totally overused in the genre. In 70,000+words I used it twice in a story and that was difficult but deliberate.

    LOVE hideous. It might cause issues until it catches on, but nothing ventured!

    Great post!

    Like

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