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Kill /kɪl/

verb No specific type of word-formation
To kill is to do something really impressive and pull it off. A person kills if they complete a really hard task effortlessly. “You kill” or “you killed” is used as positive feedback and appraisal.
 
This term is used whenever someone does something really impressive and they pull it off. You say “you kill” as positive feedback for whatever the other person did. We can see clear semantic amelioration because kill usually means to murder someone or something but in this context kill is to “murder” the task you completed, meaning you did it really well. In this case it became something positive.
Etymology : Earliest recorded source of kill is from the Proto-Indo European root gwele (which means to pierce). A more recent source of the origin includes the Old English root cwellan (which means to murder). (Retrieved from etymonline.com). With some semantic changes discussed above, kill (in this context) came to mean what is described above.
Source : Friend (back home) … in my gymnastics meet… Me: “I’m scared, I don’t know if I can do a backflip at the end of the routine.” ...after routine… Friend: “I knew you could do it, you kill!” (In-person, May 2018). The earliest recorded use of kill in this context is from the tv show Up All Night in the episode called "Mr. Bob's Toddler Kaleidoscope”. This happened in 2011 (Retrieved from onlineslanddictionary.com).
Last modified: 11 December 2019


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