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Influencer

Influencer
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There’s certainly been a boom of influencers in the last couple of years, usually associated with Instagram. But the word itself isn’t all that modern a creation – according to multiple dictionary sites, the combination of “influence” and the suffix “-er” as a word dates back to the 1660s! Of course, back then, it wasn’t a job; it was used to more generally describe an influential person or circumstance (and still is today!). For instance, “Money was the biggest influencer on her decision to change careers.”

Here are 12 synonyms that will make you a better writer. 

OMG

OMG
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This shorthand for “oh my God,” a favourite lingo choice of schoolkids and texters of all ages, dates back about a hundred years! The Oxford English Dictionary recorded a use of it in 1917, in a letter from an admiral (a 76-year-old admiral, no less) to Winston Churchill. His use of the term and emphatic style, combined with the stately British language, seems downright anachronistic: “I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis – O.M.G. (Oh! My God!) – Shower it on the Admiralty!!” (Yes, he explained what “O.M.G.” stood for.)

We doubt all of these text abbreviations you should know have such distant origins.

Unfriend

Unfriend
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Surprisingly and hilariously, this verb actually dates back to long before the advent of Facebook. Back before the days of social media – way back, in the 1600s – this word simply meant ending a friendship with someone. “I hope, Sir, that we are not mutually Un-friended by this Difference which hath happened betwixt us,” scholar Thomas Fuller wrote in 1659. Also hilariously, “unfriend” was actually used as a noun before people began using it as a verb! Sure enough, it meant “enemy,” in a rather cheeky shorthand for “the opposite of a friend.”

Hipster

Hipster
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People have been using this word before it was cool! (You knew that joke was coming.) In the late 1930s and ’40s, people used the word much in the same way they do today, according to Merriam-Webster – to describe someone tuned into and ahead of new trends.

Learn which common words used to mean totally different things. 

Ginormous

Ginormous
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This might seem like a cute slang word that a little kid (or an elf) who was mixing up “giant/gigantic” and “enormous” might use. But it actually became popular as a slang term in the military! In 1948, it appeared in a dictionary of military slang, and it’s been found even earlier than that, in British newspapers dating back to 1942.

Legit

Legit
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Legit as a shortening of legitimate has been around since the 1890s. It started as theatre slang for things associated with legitimate drama (versus vaudeville or burlesque). From the 1920s on, it referred to authenticity. If you were “legit,” you were being honest.

Here are 26 old-time compliments we wish would make a comeback. 

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Dude

Dude
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In the 1880s, dude had a negative, mocking ring to it. A dude was a dandy, someone very particular about clothes, looks, and mannerisms, who affected a sort of exaggerated high-class British persona. As one Brit noted in an 1886 issue of Longman’s Magazine, “Our novels establish a false ideal in the American imagination, and the result is that mysterious being ‘The Dude.’” To those out West, it became a word for clueless city dwellers of all kinds (hence, the dude ranch, for tourists). By the turn of the century, it had come to mean any guy, usually a pretty cool one.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth
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OK, so this one’s an honourable mention. Yes, “Bluetooth,” the term for the networking technology that connects your devices, predictably came to be in the 20th century. But the origin of the term “Bluetooth” itself is comically old – the tech was named for a 10th-century Danish king, Harold Bluetooth, who helped unite warring Scandinavia.

Next, learn which real words were invented by accident. 

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Source: RD.com

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