5 May 2011
ARE YOU COOL ?
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday
When I learned English at school, the word "cool" was the opposite of "warm". It was used to warn you to put on a cardigan or a warm pullover because outside it was cool. I also learned that you can use it for a person, for example you pittied a child because it had a cool mother but then it was meant that this mother was rather distant and didn't really show her feelings.
There also could be a cool atmosphere in a room, where people got together and behaved in a stiff way .
Over the years, suddenly the meaning of the word "cool" has changed. Now a cool person is a sympathic one who takes everything easy and doesn't make a drama of unimportant things. Being "cool" can been used to describe a general state of well-being, a transcendent, internal peace and serenity.
And this word moved into all other languages ! In Germany, Belgium and France you also say "he or she is cool" and when a today's mother is "cool" then all other children are jalous. You see a cool movie, have a cool teacher and you even can have a cool blog.
Even my polish cleaning lady uses the word "cool" amongst her polish speaches on the phone. That's the only word I understand btw.
What intrigues me now is to know since when "cool" changed it's meaning ? For all those whose mother tongue is English they should now. On the other hand I don't know when the English words "Babysitting", "Kidnapping", Weekend, etc. are suddenly part of other languages like German, French and Italian. I realized that the language had changed in all countries over the years, because when I go to Germany there are many new words I had never heard or used when I was in my 20th ! Never I would have said that my parents were "cool" in a positive way. My Grandma certainly was, what you call today "a cool person".
Different definitions of "cool"
(There is a whole page about "cool" in Wikipedia)