Word Nerd: 9 Awesome Alternatives to Awesome That You Need to Know

17 Apr

Life is awesome, right? So is pizza, The Walking Dead, and your favourite pair of Converse shoes. The word gets tired and loses its glow with overuse. Ask Dean Winchester.

So, for this Word Nerd, we came up with 9 lesser-known alternatives to awesome that you can sprinkle liberally on your conversations. We hope that the rest of your week will live up to the word and its variations.

1. Ace

You probably know this one, as do the Australians and the British. To ace is to excel – this could be in sports or in exams. Ace can be used as a verb (he aced his maths exam) and a noun (she is a tennis ace).

2. Budgeree

This one is from Australia. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it dates back to the 18th century. The word is a derivative of the Aboriginal ‘bujiri’. See that GIF above? Budgeree isn’t it!

3. Bonzer/ Bonza

Sounds like bonkers but means brilliant. The word is probably an Australian/Kiwi twist on ‘bonanza’. Bonzer is probably how we’d describe being chased round a bush by a roo.

4. Bad

Unbelievable, isn’t it? How the opposite of a word can share its meaning. We wonder if Michael Jackson has something to do with it. Probably. This is in the same category as “sick”.

5. Bodacious

The word goes back to the 19th century but gained currency in the US in the 1990s after the release of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989). While the word does mean awesome – it leans more towards complimenting someone on their attractiveness. In that sense, your crush is more likely to be bodacious than an essay is!

6. Bee’s Knees

Who would’ve thought that an insect’s joints could mean excellence.  Or, the expression, the Cat’s Pyjamas (we’re sure if cats wore pyjamas, they would be of the finest quality). This is quirky British slang for something top-notch. There are coarser alternatives, but those you can find elsewhere.

7. Blinding

Again, this one is British. When something is so brilliant, you lose your optical faculties – that’s blinding. Remember what Obelix said about the Brits?

8. Gradely

Used in the north of England, i.e; areas like Durham, Yorkshire, and Manchester, to mean fine, decent, and respectable. Also, awesome. This word hasn’t become widely used.  If you spouted the word in London or South of England, you might not be understood. But don’t let that stop you from expanding everyone’s vocabulary.

9. Spiffy

Used in both Australia and the US with slightly different connotations. In Australia, it just means great or excellent, but in the US, it’s a compliment for being smartly dressed. In both cases, we think it applies to Tom Hiddleston.

Do you have alternatives to the word awesome that you’re particularly fond of? It would be bonzer if you shared!
Email us or leave a comment below.

Read previous Word Nerd blogs here.

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