severe v. terrible v. wicked

hhtt

Senior Member
Turkish
Context: It was winter and there was a severe wind outside. The trees were as if collapsing down because of this wind and some did. This severe wind continued a few days, even making people walk difficultly.

Original: It was winter and there was a severe wind outside.

Which of the following would be correct, in the same sense and idiomatic?

1) It was winter and there was a terrible wind outside.

2) It was winter and there was a wicked wind outside.

Source: Self-made.

Thank you.
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Note that this use of wicked is colloquial and used by young people. It's unlikely that it would be appropriate in your sentence, the rest of which is standard English.
     

    hhtt

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    It's unlikely that it would be appropriate in your sentence, the rest of which is standard English.
    What does "it is unlikely" mean or refer to here?

    Does the rest of refer to "terrible" or rest of the sentence using "wicked wind" ?

    Thank you.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    It's unlikely that it would be appropriate in your sentence,
    "It is unlikely that" means "probably not".
    "it" refers to "using the word wicked" from the previous sentence.

    Post #3 is saying that "wicked" is slang, used by some young people, so you shouldn't use it in this sentence.

    I lived near Boston for years. In the Boston dialect of English, "wicked" is used as a general intensifier. It can be used in "a wicked wind" or "a wicked nice party", or "that beer was wicked awesome", etc. It shows up in movies and TV shows that take place in Boston, so some young people in other parts of the country use it nowadays. But it is not something everyone knows, and is slang, so you probably should not use it.

    The standard meaning of "wicked" (that everyone knows) is "evil". It is used about people ("a wicked witch"). It does not mean strong or forceful, so doesn't make much sense in the phrase "a wicked wind".
     

    hhtt

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Post #3 is saying that "wicked" is slang, used by some young people, so you shouldn't use it in this sentence.
    I lived near Boston for years. In the Boston dialect of English, "wicked" is used as a general intensifier. It can be used in "a wicked wind" or "a wicked nice party", or "that beer was wicked awesome", etc. It shows up in movies and TV shows that take place in Boston, so some young people in other parts of the country use it nowadays. But it is not something everyone knows, and is slang, so you probably should not use it .
    Does not all Americans such as Californians, New Yorkers or Dakotors use wicked as an intensifier in this manner?

    And does "I lived near Boston for years" imply that you now live in another place?

    Thank you.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    When I suggested 'wicked' was OK in the OP sentence, I was thinking of it as meaning 'terrible', 'atrocious', even 'evil' - all of which, I think, could describe a severe wind. It has a poetical ring about it, as well as a nice alliteration. But I do agree with the others that 'wicked' also has the slang meaning, so perhaps it is best avoided here.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Does not all Americans such as Californians, New Yorkers or Dakotors use wicked as an intensifier in this manner?
    I live in Californiqa and I understand the use as an intensifier but I regard it as something either young people would say or people who have a close connection to Ireland or Great Britain.
     

    hhtt

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    I live in Californiqa and I understand the use as an intensifier but I regard it as something either people who have a close connection to Ireland or Great Britain would say or young people .
    Why is it that wicked as an intensifier makes you think it has connections to British or Irish dialectics?

    Thank you.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Why is it that wicked as an intensifier makes you think it has connections to British or Irish dialectics?

    It's just my experience in observing who uses it. The usage is not common in California that I know of, and it is definitely slang. If you're talking to a friend or acquaintance, or writing dialogue, go ahead and use it, but for formal writing it would be a glaring error.

    The point is, I think, that the people who use it as slang know that the real meaning is "evil".
     
    Last edited:

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    No, it might be widely recognised but it is not universally used. But as I said in post 3, the reason for not using it would be that the rest of your sentence is in standard English and dropping one slang word in will mislead people into thinking that you mean "evil".
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    When I suggested 'wicked' was OK in the OP sentence, I was thinking of it as meaning 'terrible', 'atrocious', even 'evil' - all of which, I think, could describe a severe wind. It has a poetical ring about it, as well as a nice alliteration. But I do agree with the others that 'wicked' also has the slang meaning, so perhaps it is best avoided here.
    Yes, it could be used this way.
    Wicked is usually used this eay for people, denoting their personality or motivation, so it is a bit of a stretch for natural events
    I would stick with severe/ terrible

    You might consider "gale-force" too.
     
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