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History Lesson

The term "weird" has an ever-changing connotation

Over time, the meaning of "weird" evolved to encompass a broader range of connotations, including strange, eerie, and supernatural. In the 19th century, the term was popularized by writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, who used it to describe the unsettling and uncanny aspects of their horror stories.

During the 20th century, the term "weird" continued to evolve and expand, with new meanings and associations emerging in popular culture. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Beat Generation and other countercultural movements embraced the term as a symbol of rebellion and nonconformity, using it to describe anything that was unconventional, offbeat, or avant-garde.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the term "weird" became associated with a distinctive subculture of quirky, creative individuals who embraced their individuality and embraced unconventional styles and interests. This subculture, which was often associated with the punk and alternative music scenes, embraced the term "weird" as a badge of honor, celebrating the unique and idiosyncratic aspects of their personalities and interests.

Today, the term "weird" continues to be a source of fascination and intrigue, with new meanings and associations emerging in popular culture. From the proliferation of bizarre and offbeat internet memes to the rise of unconventional fashion trends and subcultures, the term "weird" continues to be a touchstone for those who embrace the strange, the unusual, and the unconventional. Whether we use it to describe our own idiosyncrasies or the bizarre and surreal aspects of the world around us, the term "weird" remains a powerful and evocative word with a rich and fascinating history.

Nathan, Heywise Staff

Quiz WriterNathan, Heywise Staff

Let us introduce you to the Listicle Liege, the Article Aficionado, the one and only Nathan. Since creating his first photo collage at the age of five with images clipped from his mom’s Chatelaine magazines (all of them), it’s been nearly impossible to stem this one’s tide of visual learning. Be it the annals of history or the latest celeb gossip, Nathan has probably researched it, likely already has a folder of relevant photos on his desktop, and definitely learned a lot of interesting facts to go with those images. Whereas most well-read adults have bookshelves full of classic literature, Nathan’s stacks are composed of National Geographic and TIME special editions and a curated section of first-grade readers (for inspiration). If you prefer picture books to wordy novels, listicles by Nathan are right up your alley.

Did you know?

Weird didn't used to mean weird

It's no secret that word origins have shifted over century's, but weird has a legacy all it's own. In fact, weird didn't really mean unusual until it reach Middle English. Before that the word wyrd had Germanic origins that meant destiny or the ability to control your destiny. Although it was occasionally used to refer to the mythological fates in the sense that we know, it wasn't until William Shakespeare began using it in MacBeth that we got the word in the context we use it now. So the next time someone calls you weird, you can take heart in knowing that you are very much in control of your destiny and you should rock the weirdness with pride. Your weird traits are simply part of the uniqueness that makes you who you are. Embrace your inner weirdo, and move forward with your head held high. Weird didn't always mean what you think it means.

How to Play?

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