25 Everyday Words That Used To Mean Something Very Different

Manufacture

Manufacture

While it's come to describe something that is mass produced with machinery, of course, it used to just refer to something that was made by hand. Presumably, because there used to be no machines.

Doom

Doom

We all know what this word means these days and it's not good, However, in the past it was a term which described a law.



Last

Last

Where as it now means final, or the opposite end of first, this word used to be synonymous with "highest".

Protest

Protest

This one is a fairly relevant one at the moment as the initial few months of Trump's presidency play out. But while "protest" now refers to people showing their disapproval with signs and voices, it used to describe making a "solemn declaration".



Hilarity

Hilarity

If something is hilarious, that is hilarity, right? But it hasn't always been this way. It used to mean "calm joy".

Bully

Bully

I bet you think I'm going to tell you "bully" used to mean "lawyer", right? Wrong. The word used to simply describe a good man or boy.



Radical

Radical

All slang applications aside, "radical" is a word used to describe something which is very different from normal. However, it used to mean almost the opposite, describing something that was fundamental.

Pretty

Pretty

We all know what this word means now but it used to mean something like "sneaky". I definitely know girls who are both...



Guy

Guy

This word just describes a dude, right? A man.... But it used to be used in reference to someone who was of grotesque appearance. That's not very nice, is it?

Brave

Brave

Being brave is synonymous with courage, however, it used to mean something like ostentatious and flamboyant.



Egregious

Egregious

This one is simple; It used to mean really, really good. Now it means really, really bad.

Nervous

Nervous

Interestingly, this common word describing anxiety used to mean strong.



Pedant

Pedant

A pedant is a bit of a show-off, right? Someone who likes to let people know how much they know.

But it used to be just a simple term used to describe a male teacher.

Garble

Garble

What it means; to alter or distort something

What is meant in the past; to sift



Evil

Evil

This is a word we think of as being the opposite of good and associate it with the Devil and terrible behavior. But it used to be a term used to describe someone who was arrogant and conceited.

One could easily be thought of as both...

Awful

Awful

We know this means horribly bad these days. But it also makes perfect sense that it used to be the opposite.....

It used to mean much the same as how we might use "awesome" now. As in, full of awe. If anything, it makes more sense than awesome - "some awe". With me?



Nice

Nice

Okay so not the city or the biscuit named after the city. We're talking about the word "nice" as we pronounce it in English.

However you use it now ("you have nice hair" or "he's a nice guy"), it used to mean "foolish".

Sad

Sad

While it now means something like "affected by grief" it used to describe the mood when you're content.



Artificial

Artificial

This word is used in a few different contexts to either describe something that is contrived or fabricated to mimic something natural. But in the past, its meaning was "skillful".

Facetious

Facetious

If you're being facetious, you're deliberately treating a serious situation with inappropriate humor, but in the past, it could mean the exact opposite in some situations. It used to mean well mannered.



Nuisance

Nuisance

It kind of just means annoying now, but "nuisance" used to refer to something that might be harmful or cause injury.

Sophisticated

Sophisticated

Of course, this word may be interpreted in a few different contexts, however, at its core, it simply means "very complicated". However, its former meaning described something which is unnatural.



Stupid

Stupid

We already know what this word means. You'd have to be stupid not to.

However, what you might not know is that it used to mean something like "amazed".

Passenger

Passenger

This one makes sense; back before there were planes, cars, and other modes of transport, "passenger" simply meant someone who was traveling by foot.



Angel

Angel

While "angel" now describes a messenger from God, it used to describe any messenger. A courier hired to bring you a document could have been termed an "angel"....