Bad meaning good [antagonyms]

WillyLandron

Senior Member
English United States
Hi,

Does any body know the name of the figure of speech or linguistic phenomenom in words that become the opposite of what they mean:

For example the use of "bad" to mean "good." The same thing happens in other languages so I was curious if there was a name for that. There HAS got to be one.

I heard terrific was once a bad thing and that terrible was considered good.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I have never heard of this word before, which means nothing really.
    I searched Google and found THIS SITE which certainly confirms that it is used, along with synonyms contranym and autoantonym.

    None of these words appears in the OED.
     

    nic456

    Senior Member
    UK
    alemán
    Hello,

    A list of Antagonyms compiled a by dermatology professor Charles Ellis, complemented by a list of Heteronyms. Last updated 1999.

    << longer necessary >>

    Regards
     
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