“How’s that burrito, Amber?” Someone might ask me.
“Oh, it’s awesome,” I’ll say.
Here, awesome does mean awesome because burritos are awesome. But often, I find myself using the word to describe things that aren’t awesome at all.
“I’m taking French this semester,” some slightly younger, college-aged person might say to me.
“That’s awesome,” I’ll say.
Here, awesome is merely a polite way of saying, “Wow, I couldn't care less about what just came out of your mouth. Also, I want a burrito.” Who do I think I’m fooling with this platitude? Surely, the French student knows that he hasn’t said anything especially awesome. It’s patronizing and no way to make friends.
awe•some/adj. 1 inspiring awe. 2 colloq. excellent; superb.
•First used in late 16th century England.
•Gains popularity with surfers and the inhabitants of California’s San Fernando Valley in the 1980s. Often preceded by totally; sometimes followed by dude.
•The Chili’s restaurant chain introduces the Awesome Blossom (not to be confused with Outback Steakhouse’s Bloomin’ Onion), ironically dubbed the “Worst Appetizer in America” in 2008.
•Awesome Amber turns 26 in 30 minutes.