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Negative words with positive meanings.

Denis Hard

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These days, more than ever, a word can mean anything depending on the context it's used in. Most of those learning English or another language [that may use words in same vein] may find it very tricky. Let's take an example of the word bad. It's a word everyone is familiar with and it's used mostly in reference to pointing out some negativity in something, an inadequacy in something and so on [me speak bad engrish, he's a bad kid, etc].

So what of when someone refers to a really good actor sportsperson as bad? Example:

JOHN: Do you think our guy will beat Phelps in the swimming competition.

JILL: Nah. Phelps is bad.

Any more examples guys of negative words which depending on the context they're used, have a positive meaning?

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There are those two words "sick" and "ill".  :=) Young people like to use those two words in a positive way. For instance, if they think Eminem is a great rapper, they will say : "He is so sick" or "He is really ill".

Another word you can use like this is the word shit. So, some people go like, "He's the shit man!", which actually means that they like him/his style.

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''crazy'' and ''insane''.  Lately I use those words referring to my trip to Europe.  I often tell my boyfriend: ''It's so crazy we are just a few days away from going there!'' He often replies: ''Yeah, it's insane!''.  Hehehe, when I use crazy in this context I mean it like ''wow!, can't believe time has flown by so quick!''.

I had never stopped to think about this Denis, I guess we often use words that generally have a negative meaning, but can be used as a positive thing... I guess the positive meaning is inversely proportional to the word that is considered negative in most contexts.

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