synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of nasty in English

English Online Dictionary. What means nasty‎? What does nasty mean?

From Middle English nasty, nasti, naxty, naxte (unclean, filthy), whence also Early Modern English nasky (nasty), of obscure origin. Probably from earlier Middle English *naskty, *naskedy, from Middle English *nasked (dirty, messy) + -y, ultimately of North Germanic origin (comparable to Danish nasket (dirty, foul, unpleasant), Swedish naskot (dirty, filthy), Swedish naskig, naskug (nasty, dirty, messy)), themselves all probably related to Proto-Germanic *hnaskuz (tender, soft). Likely doublet of nesh and nosh. Cognate with Scots nastie, nestie (dirty, filthy).

Alternative theories have also been proposed, which include:

  • From Low German nask (nasty) +‎ -y.
  • From Old French nastre (bad, strange), shortened form of villenastre (infamous, bad), from vilein (villain) + -astre (pejorative suffix), from Latin -aster.
  • Middle Dutch nestich, nistich ("nasty, dirty, unpleasant" > Modern Dutch nestig (dirty, filthy, unclean; lazy, cranky)), perhaps ultimately connected to the Scandinavian word above, or related to *nest (nest).
  • Other suggestions include Old High German naz (wet), hardening of English nesh(y) (soft), or alteration of English naughty.
  • Modern use of the word is sometimes attributed to the popular and often derogatory 19th century American political cartoons of Thomas Nast, but the word predates him.
  • (General Australian) IPA(key): /ˈnaː.sti/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈnɑː.sti/
    • Rhymes: -ɑːsti
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈnæs.ti/
    • Rhymes: -æsti

nasty (comparative nastier, superlative nastiest)

  1. (now chiefly US) Dirty, filthy. [from 14th c.]
  2. Contemptible, unpleasant (of a person). [from 15th c.]
  3. Objectionable, unpleasant (of a thing); repellent, offensive. [from 16th c.]
  4. Indecent or offensive; obscene, lewd. [from 17th c.]
  5. Spiteful, unkind. [from 19th c.]
  6. (chiefly UK) Awkward, difficult to navigate; dangerous. [from 19th c.]
  7. (chiefly UK) Grave or dangerous (of an accident, illness etc.). [from 19th c.]
  8. (slang, chiefly US) Formidable, terrific; wicked. [from 20th c.]

nasty (plural nasties)

  1. (informal) Something nasty.
  2. (euphemistic, slang, preceded by "the") Sexual intercourse.
  3. A video nasty.
  • do the nasty
  • video nasty
  • Ansty, Santy, Tansy, Yants, antsy, tansy

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.