The Definition of ‘Nice’

If I am going to redefine niceness for myself, I thought I should check out the actual definition of the word ‘nice’ first.  I like starting with the basics.

I have to admit in the moments leading up to my google search I was secretly hoping for some deep, inspiring and perhaps exotic definition that would make me proud to call myself nice.  As definitions started popping onto the screen, I was quickly unimpressed.  I continued to check link after link (I will admit to reviewing 10 definitions) and the same words kept coming up:

pleasant

agreeable

satisfactory

socially acceptable

kind

polite

good natured

Ugh!  And yawn…  I wasn’t done though.  Nice, yes.  Quitter, no.  I decided to dig deeper and go all the way back to the origin of the word.  Maybe at one point in history I would find what I was hoping for!  So, as I googled the origin of the word ‘nice’ I was still hopeful.

And that is when I got my laugh out loud moment (in Starbucks to boot).

The origin of the word ‘nice’ goes back to 13th century early French and ready for this?

Originally meant…

foolish, stupid, senseless.

Well that was a complete waste of my time!

Or was it?

After sitting with this information for a bit and reviewing the definitions (still searching, maybe still hoping) I noticed that the word ‘nice’ has had an interesting evolution.  Over time the definition of ‘nice’ has gone from foolish, stupid, senseless to…

weak, needy, simple

to…

ignorant, unaware

to…

timid

to…

fussy, fastidious

to…

dainty, delicate

to…

precise, careful

to…

agreeable, delightful, kind, thoughtful and all the other words I mentioned earlier.

When I really thought about it, I decided the word ‘nice’ is just like me, continually evolving.    What I like about the two of us (nice and I) is that we are also both evolving for the better.  I have a prediction for my friend ‘nice.’  I predict that ‘nice’ is not done yet.  As for myself, I don’t have to predict.  I know that each day brings a more evolved me and I am loving the process.

I have a good feeling about this next year and I am glad ‘nice’ will be there with me.

2 thoughts on “The Definition of ‘Nice’

  1. LOL! Which I did, in the orthodontist office. I think the definitions fit, as I often feel weak, foolish and timid when acting out of a place of “niceness”. And I’m often referred to as “pleasant”. Evolution ready!

    Like

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