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killer

noun; zero derivation
term of affection Additional factors ocurred. For example, killer has gone through a semantic shift of amelioration. Now there is even a band called The Killers. Perhaps the term of affection was influenced by youth slang that embraces violence. The term lady-killer probably also influenced the development. A lady-killer (to guys) is someone they admire. So perhaps killer came through a clipping as well. I think all these factors contributed to the development of the term.
 
What's up, killer?
Etymology : This neologism has developed from a long chain of semantic shifts. Originally the word meant one who kills. Then in the late seventies killer became an adjective meaning very effective; excellent, ‘sensational.’ Now the adj. has gone through zero derivation and is a noun, but this time meaning someone who is excellent or sensational.
Source : college student
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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