bad


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*Farsi has bad in more or less the same sense as the English word, but this is regarded by linguists as a coincidence. The forms of the words diverge as they are traced back in time (Farsi bad comes from Middle Persian vat), and such accidental convergences exist across many languages, given the vast number of words in each and the limited range of sounds humans can make to signify them. Among other coincidental matches with English are Korean mani “many,” Chinese pei “pay,” Nahuatl (Aztecan) huel “well,” Maya hol “hole.”

v.

probably a merger of two old words: The sense in bid farewell is from Old English biddan “to ask, entreat, pray, beseech; order; beg” (class V strong verb, past tense bæd, past participle beden), from Proto-Germanic *bidjan “to pray, entreat” (cf. German bitten “to ask,” attested from 8c.), which, according to Kluge and Watkins is from a PIE root *gwhedh- “to ask, pray” (see bead (n.)).

To bid at an auction, meanwhile, is from Old English beodan “offer, proclaim” (class II strong verb; past tense bead, p.p. boden), from Proto-Germanic *biudanan “to stretch out, reach out, offer, present,” (cf. German bieten “to offer”), from PIE root *bh(e)udh- “to be aware, make aware” (cf. Sanskrit bodhati “is awake, is watchful, observes,” buddhah “awakened, enlightened;” Old Church Slavonic bljudo “to observe;” Lithuanian budeti “to be awake;” Old Irish buide “contentment, thanks”). As a noun, 1788, from the verb.

In addition to the idioms beginning with bad

  • bad blood
  • bad egg
  • bad hair day
  • bad luck
  • badly off
  • bad mouth
  • bad name
  • bad news
  • bad off
  • bad sort, a
  • bad taste
  • bad time
  • bad trip

also see:

  • come to an end (bad end)
  • feel bad
  • from bad to worse
  • get off on the wrong foot (to a bad start)
  • give a bad name
  • give bad marks to
  • go bad
  • in a bad mood
  • in a bad way
  • in bad faith
  • in bad with someone
  • in someone’s bad graces
  • leave a bad taste in one’s mouth
  • make the best of (a bad bargain)
  • not a bad sort
  • not bad
  • poor (bad) taste
  • run of (bad) luck
  • too bad
  • turn up (like a bad penny)
  • with bad grace

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