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übernice

adjective; compounding
Extremely pleasing or good; good-looking; very nice apparent meaning: Extremely good or pleasing. This is a very interesting formation, and the exact reasons for its usage are unclear. The speaker could easily have used another English suffix, such as 'super,' in place of the noticeably foreign 'über.' A likely explanation is that 'übernice' is just fun to say. However, this may be a sign that the prefix 'über' is slowly making its way into mainstream English and will eventually become an everyday borrowed prefix, just as 'super' is today. Another interesting feature of this word is the apparent difference in tone between the prefix and root. 'Nice' has evolved to become a relatively bland adjective, usually used to describe something that does not evoke much excitement. Adding an intensifying prefix like 'über' is seemingly contradictory; it would probably make more sense to use an already intense root, like 'amazing.' It will be interesting to see if 'übernice' manages to work its way into everyday use.
 
We took our project to Kinko's so now it looks übernice.
Etymology : Compounding Composed of 'über' (German 'super') + nice (native)
Source : overheard at lunch table
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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