Snowy (wosny) wrote in linguaphiles,

The changing meaning of words

In the eighteenth century the word rape meant to steal, or take without consent, as can be seen in the poem by Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock, and only later did the sense of sexual violation become current. Today, my 13 year old son uses rape in a different way to mean scratched or ruined.
"I lent Guillaume my Modern Warfare game and when I got it back it was totally raped."
Is this a frequent modern usage, or is it only him?
You see I was wondering if his 'English but born in France' upbringing might mean that he was subconciously mixing it with the French word rapé meaning grated?
Tags: etymology

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