Мария Капшина, Морана, Spielbrecher (viata) wrote in linguaphiles,
Мария Капшина, Морана, Spielbrecher
viata
linguaphiles

Awfully good

There is a number of very similar cases of amelioration in different languages when a word originally meaning "very bad", "terrifying" starts meaning "very". That is, awful in English (thanks awfully), terrible in French (terriblement gourmand), страшно in Russian (страшно красиво), 恐ろしく (恐ろしく頭が良い) in Japanese.
So, I've got two questions. 1. Can you continue the list (preferrably, with non-Indo-European languages)? 2. Have you seen a plausible explanation for this type of semantic change?
Tags: semantics
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