1 Noiembrie 2016 Lasă un comentariu
10 words that don’t mean what they used to: when meerkats were monkeys and bimbos were boys By Paul Anthony Jones
It’s by no means unusual for words to change their meaning over time. But thanks to the twists and turns of language – and the convoluted history of English, in particular – some words end up quite a distance from where they began, as the following bizarre etymological stories illustrate.
1. A blockbuster was originally a bomb
In some instances, the original meaning of a word might be hiding in plain sight, and this is one of them: a blockbuster is literally a bomb large enough to destroy an entire block of buildings. In this sense, the first blockbusters were produced by the RAF during the second word war, the very earliest of which – weighing an impressive 4,000lb – was dropped on the German city of Emden during an air raid in March 1941. The wartime press was quick to pounce on the nickname “blockbuster”, and soon it was being used figuratively to describe anything and everything that had an impressive or devastating effect. The military connotations gradually disappeared after the war, leaving us with the word we use today.