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Picture of Kalleh
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What do you think of with the word "terrific?" I think of "great"! Yet I remember when I was in 4th grade my friend was sick and her mother wrote her a note and said she was home because she had a "terrific stomach ache." My friend said, "I didn't think it was so terrific!"

Have you seen it used that way?
 
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Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
No one ever said elves are nice.
Elves are bad.

Terry Pratchett - Lords and Ladies

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From M-W:
quote:
Definition of terrific

1 : unusually fine : magnificent terrific weather
2 : extraordinary terrific speed
3a : exciting or fit to excite fear or awe a terrific thunderstorm
b : very bad : frightful
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
What do you think of with the word "terrific?" I think of "great"! Yet I remember when I was in 4th grade my friend was sick and her mother wrote her a note and said she was home because she had a "terrific stomach ache." My friend said, "I didn't think it was so terrific!"

Have you seen it used that way?


I know that I have heard it said that way. In this case it is used similarly to the word "much" or even "massive". I seem to especially remember hearing people say, "I have a terrific headache".
 
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Thanks, Geoff. Great to see you here again.

I wonder why, though, that it changed in 1888 to mean excellent.
 
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