ahurissant

Fontleroi

New Member
English USA
I find no listing for 'ahurissant' on Wikipedia. From one context in which I find it, it seems to correspond to something like 'fantastic' or 'astounding'. Can anyone give me a better translation, or more information as to where this word comes from?
 
  • JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    I would not say 'fantastic'.
    'ahurissant' has mostly a pejorative meaning.
    "stupifying / disconcerting" are OK.
     

    Fontleroi

    New Member
    English USA
    atcheque, I saw the expression in passing, but then lost it and could not find it again, but thanks for asking.

    jclaudek, the pejorative shading makes sense, so thank you.
     

    petit1

    Senior Member
    français - France
    The sense can be either good or bad but there is always the idea of extreme surprise.
     

    joelooc

    Senior Member
    French (Provence)
    to me ahurissant looks like a perfect translation of the trendy awesome with its positive and negative connotations
     

    Chimel

    Senior Member
    Français
    I can agree, but isn't it so that the meaning "by default" (without more context) of awesome is positive and is rather negative for ahurissant?

    I mean: you cannot just translate an awesome movie by un film ahurissant (it would be: génial, formidable, terrible...).

    On the other hand, if I hear il a eu une réaction ahurissante, without any more information, my first reaction would be that the speaker is not very pleased with the reaction of this person.
     

    joelooc

    Senior Member
    French (Provence)
    Quite so. I was just pointing at those shifts in the meaning of some words: "wicked" has become statistically positive, so has "terrible" in French, depending on trends. Awesome has the same root as awful and there's a dimension of terror/respect in both of them. Up to now calling someone un ahuri was quite derogatory and yet, as you remarked, it can now qualify an awesome movie. So I was talking about ahurissant in the sense of something/someone who leaves you flabbergasted. Along the same lines stupéfiant may mean ahurissant while as a noun it refers to drugs. I'll stop because I will get carried away on one of those lexical raves.
     
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