[-[[caption-width-right:216:How was this [[AccidentalInnuendo an]] [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar accident]], you ask? Time, good friends, time.]]-]

->''"Cock" is not dirty all the time, that's one of those words that's only partly filthy. Cock, if you're talking about the animal, it's perfectly all right! They used to read that to us from the Bible in third grade; and we would laugh… "cock" is in the Bible!''
-->-- '''Creator/GeorgeCarlin'''
%%One quote is sufficient. Please add additional ones to the quotes tab.

A cross between AccidentalInnuendo and UnusualEuphemism. This trope occurs when "language drift"--natural changes in the common vocabulary--causes a word or phrase originally intended as wholly innocuous to be potentially taken as startling, confusing or just plain funny in a different time or place. Usually relates to sexual euphemisms, but can also involve other sensitive concepts. Political correctness sometimes comes into play.

Even very slight changes in usage can produce this effect; until recently, a man might speak of his attraction to a "young girl" and mean a twentysomething. Nowadays she'd be young, or a girl, [[PaedoHunt but not both]]. And sometimes the expression ''still'' has an innocent meaning that is at least as valid as the naughty one, but now there are just too many people with their minds in the gutter.

Compare with HilariousInHindsight, of which this is arguably a SubTrope. See also DoubleEntendre or IntentionallyAwkwardTitle for when this trope is invoked entirely intentionally, SeparatedByACommonLanguage for the spatial analogue, and GetTheeToANunnery for the reverse process.

Keep in mind that some of these words actually ''did'' have their modern meaning at the time they were used, but [[GeniusBonus only within certain sections of the populace]]. The meaning of the word "gay" began to change as early as ''1870'' among the criminal classes of New York, where it originally meant "prostitute" (yes, before TheGayNineties); around 1900 the meaning changed to "homosexual prostitute" and within five years of that to simply "homosexual". This means that in some cases the writers are using the words deliberately in order to [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar get crap past the radar]]. [[note]]It would be amusing if people from TheGayNineties {{Time Travel}}ed to today, and wondered why there were people who opposed prostitutes getting married, and happy marriages in general.[[/note]]

Some of these examples result from the ''euphemism treadmill'', whereby terms are repeatedly replaced as the previous word falls into such a state of misuse that it cannot be recovered. The words "idiot", "moron", and "imbecile" started as clinical terms, referring to people with [=IQs=] below 75, 50, and 25, respectively. As these terms fell into common use as insults, they were replaced by a kinder and gentler term: "retarded". After decades of ''that'' being used as an insult, "retarded" is now considered so offensive that [[http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112479383&ps=cprs some people want it classified as hate speech]]. The term used to describe people with life-changing diseases or injuries followed a similar path, from "crippled" to "disabled" to "handicapped" to "physically challenged"; when terms like "handi-capable" and "differently abled" were proposed, it came across as PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad and people generally agreed to stop messing with it.

Racist terminology is also a prime example of this. The infamous "N-word" (which is so virulent it cannot be even used clinically in many places anymore) used to be common language, even without racist overtones. For example, "nigger babies" used to be a name for a popular candy, while Creator/AgathaChristie even used the title ''Ten Little Niggers'' for her arguably most famous work; even back then the N-word was considered risky so it was retitled ''Ten Little Indians'' for US publication, which annoyed another group of people, so they eventually settled on ''Literature/AndThenThereWereNone''. Use of the N-word by productions in which it is specifically used as a criticism/condemnation of racism (e.g. ''Series/AllInTheFamily'', ''Film/BlazingSaddles'') is often misunderstood by modern audiences.

Words changed meaning less frequently before the advent of radio and television, and when they did change, the transformation could be slow (as seen with "gay" above). It took over a hundred years for the primary meaning of the verb "want" to change from "lack" to "desire". Television sped things up: it took only a few weeks in the 70s for the meaning of "boob" to change from "dummy" to "breast" [[Series/MatchGame among the general public]]. Naturally, with the advent of the uncensored Internet, words can change meaning almost overnight these days.

Compare ValuesDissonance, FunnyAneurysmMoment, and YouKeepUsingThatWord (a common cause of this if it happens enough); see also UnfortunateNames, which sometimes result from this. GetTheeToANunnery is the [[InvertedTrope inverse]].


[[folder:Some victims of Have a Gay Old Time]]
* Several examples having to do with slang terms referencing homosexuality:
** The TropeNamer is of course based on the word "gay", which once meant "happy, carefree, joyful". It started to take on its modern meaning of "homosexual" in the 1930s, but continued to be used in its original sense throughout TheForties and TheFifties (giving us things like "a gay little love melody" in works as late as 1959's ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'', although frankly, the word was used so often, and so gratuitously, that one has to seriously wonder if some of these later cases weren't deliberate attempts at GettingCrapPastTheRadar).
** "Queer" originally meant "strange or odd" and later came to refer to homosexuals, sometimes pejoratively and sometimes not. (Lately, this has been fluctuating as the cultural context shifts.) Nowadays, virtually no one uses the original meaning.
** The word "faggot" used to be an alternative spelling of "fagot", which means a bundle of sticks--before becoming a pejorative term for homosexuals as well as a vulgar insult in general. In Britain, there is also a foodstuff called "faggots" which are a type of meatball. From the original term also came the word "fag," which, in Britain is a slang for cigarette but is basically considered "the ''other'' F-bomb" in the United States, which can lead to [[SeparatedByACommonLanguage occasional unfortunate misunderstandings]].
*** "Fag" was also slang at British public schools for a younger boy who essentially acted as a servant to an older boy. While this no doubt included sexual favors in some cases, that wasn't the default assumption. Thus, it's not uncommon for a man in an older British work to say casually "Oh yes, I know him well--I was his fag at school."
*** The musical instrument known in English as the bassoon is named "fagotto" in Italian and "Fagott" in German. It's common to see these terms abbreviated in scores as "Fag."
** "Come out" is now short for "come out of the closet," which refers to telling others that you're gay. However, it was a custom for young women of noble or wealthy classes to "come out" formally into society, meaning they were eligible for marriage and otherwise treated as adult women. So in many things from the 1800s to about the 1930s, you'll hear talk over whether Miss Such-and-So has "come out", or references to a "coming-out party."
*** In recent years, "come out" is sometimes used for revealing secrets other than homosexuality, although "come out of the closet" still means the same thing.
* The word "lover" used to mean nothing more than “fond friend” and had nothing to do with whether the two were sexually active. (In early modern English it could even mean “ally”.) The term used for a sexual partner back then was "paramour".
* "Making love" used to connote romance or courting before it became a more genteel phrase for sexual intercourse.
* "Incontinent" in the time of Shakespeare meant "immediately", e.g. "I will come incontinently". It then turned to mean "uncontrollably", e.g. "Incontinent with rage". It then moved onto practically a medical diagnosis for someone with [[PottyEmergency poor bladder and/or bowel control]]. Even the older meanings can cause trouble if mixed--"I will come to you uncontrollably" brings ''VideoGame/{{QWOP}}'' to mind.
* "Ejaculated" used to be just [[SaidBookism a different way of saying]] "exclaimed". It is now a recognized term for sexual release. QI, as ever, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5JEJiiSZCM covered this]].
** "Cum" borders on this. It could either be a Latin preposition for "with", e.g. "cum laude" (with honors), or a fancier way of saying "as well as," as in "a writer-cum-artist"; or, as it is mostly used nowadays, a corrupted synonym of "come" for ejaculatory fluid.
* "Aroused" was originally interchangeable with "roused", but after acquiring sexual connotations this is definitely no longer the case. However, it is still technically possible to ''arouse'' someone (as in "arouse someone's anger") without being sexy.
* "Molest" used to mean "harass" or "annoy", without the more specific modern connotation of sexual assault. One can still go about something "unmolested", however.
* "Grope" used to mean just "touch", but it has connotations of creepy sexual touching nowadays. You can still "grope around" in the dark to find your way, but this trope can slip in if more than one person is there.
* "Tramp" used to refer to bums, hobos, vagrants, drifters, or vagabonds (hence, for example, ''Disney/LadyAndTheTramp''). Today, its most common usage is as a derogatory term for sex workers and is synonymous with equally derogatory terms such as "slut", "harlot" or "whore".
** Similarly, "bum" in UsefulNotes/BritishEnglish. Apart from an archaic meaning of "bailiff" (used in one Creator/AgathaChristie story), until fairly recently it only had the "buttocks" meaning in Britain. EaglelandOsmosis means that the "tramp" meaning is now recognized as well. Conversely, the older meaning of "tramp" is still dominant in the UK.
*** "Bum" can be a verb in British English, and not in the American sense of "beg or borrow"; it means "sodomise". This means, amusingly, that you can US!bum a UK!fag, or UK!bum a US!fag, but neither phrase works quite right without borrowing a word usage from the other side of the Atlantic.
* Penis euphemisms:
** "Cock" originally referred to a rooster. It still does in some parts of Asia, where the word "rooster" is rare or unheard of, leading to confusion on both sides.
** "Dick" originated as a male name and was sometimes used as a slang term for a detective.
** A "wiener" is a kind of sausage. Once that word became phallic slang, the names "Wiener" and "Weiner" weren't safe either -- one particularly hilarious incident involved a U.S. Congressional representative named [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Weiner Anthony Weiner]] who [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Weiner_sexting_scandals repeatedly got in trouble]] for sending women pictures of his...well...''wiener''.
*** Wien is the German name for the capital city of Austria, (known in English as Vienna). As such, any person who comes from Wien, in German, is called a Wiener.[[note]]Wiener, meaning the sausage, comes from a German term for a Viennese sausage, Wiener würstl, which is very similar to a sausage from Frankfurt called a Frankfurter würstl, both of which are commonly called "hot dogs" in English. [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle And now you know]].[[/note]] This leads to plenty of things in Austria called the "Wiener X", such as the Wiener Philharmoniker, one of the most prestigious classical orchestras, or sports teams like the SC Wiener Neustadt, whose names may initially take English-speakers aback.
* "Boob" or "booby" meant a fool or silly person before it meant a woman's breast, and is still used that way in the phrase "booby trap" (i.e. [[SchmuckBait a trap a gullible or stupid person would fall into]]) or "booby prize", but almost never by itself, unless referring to [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booby a kind of seabird]].
* In addition to "cock" (as in, a rooster) and "booby" (as in, a seabird), a number of other animal names have gained dirty colloquial meanings:
** "Bitch" originally referred to female dogs that give birth to young puppies, but is now almost exclusively used as a vulgar insult, fairly often with sexist and gendered connotations--[[AppropriatedAppellation and as such is occasionally reclaimed by feminist organizations]] [[NWordPrivileges as a term of endearment]]. A VocalMinority of dog breeders still swear by the term in its original context, and it is sometimes used among veterinary personnel to refer specifically to an intact (i.e. unspayed) female dog (as this status can be important for certain medical purposes).
** "Jackass" or simply "ass" used to only mean "donkey", but is now an insult, or a slang term for the posterior in American English. WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd [[https://youtu.be/Kz0TOQ1BF-M?t=2m17s had fun]] seeing how many instances of "ass" exist in Literature/TheBible. Similarly, the combination of a Bible quotes chatbot and an auto-censor script can be [[http://bash.org/?178890 interesting]].
** A "cougar" originally referred exclusively to [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cougar a species of wildcat]], but now can also mean [[MrsRobinson an older woman who dates younger men]]. "Puma," another name for the same cat, has become a somewhat less common term for a younger cougar (like, in her thirties, whereas a full-fledged cougar is at least forty). The wildcat species [[IHaveManyNames has a number of other names]], including "mountain lion" and "catamount," but none of those have alternate slang meanings.
* "Holocaust" originally meant a burnt offering made as a sacrifice to a deity in which the sacrificial animal was entirely burned (instead of some of the meat being eaten). Later, it meant any kind of [[KillItWithFire destructive fire]]. Nowadays, the term automatically calls to mind UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust. Even [[AllLowercaseLetters uncapitalized]], the term still refers to mass-murder or a mass-casualty event on an extreme scale, such as genocide or UsefulNotes/NuclearWar.
* "Boner" used to mean "silly mistake" (or "''bone''headed decision"), but now it means "erection". In quite-clean older works you might be startled when a character says something like "Everyone is still laughing about my boner in the big game."
* And speaking of "erect", its original definition was "upright and straight", like a soldier at attention. It was also a verb meaning "to build". Thus, a building was sometimes referred to as an "erection".
* "Doing" someone has traditionally been gangster or assassin slang for killing someone (perhaps short for "doing them in"), but nowadays is more often thought of in terms of sexual intercourse. However, there are still informal senses such as the one of "doing" someone if you paint their portrait or perform an impersonation of them.
* Being "turned on" is now usually taken to mean "aroused by." Traditionally, it was simply a generic way of describing an interest or preference for something, as in "I'm feeling turned on by a lot of the food in this menu." In the 1960's, when Timothy Leary started out promoting LSD as beneficial for therapeutic psychiatry, things changed when he started promoting it for non-psychiatric reasons, with his "turn on, tune in, drop out" philosophy, with many of the NewAgeRetroHippie and flower child movements being "turned on" by this, and as a result, the FCC started to closely monitor the radio airwaves and ban songs that had the words "turn on" or some variation thereof, especially Music/TheBeatles' "A Day in the Life" with one of the verses saying "I'd love to turn you on". A variant of this survives today, when we speak of, say, a friend "turning you on" to a new TV series.
* "Spunk" used to be synonymous with pluck, moxie, fight, and spirit - as in YouGotSpunk. Nowadays, the term more often refers to semen and the ejaculation thereof. The aforementioned trope has mostly dropped the term as a result in favour of other synonyms.
* The word "rape" didn't originally refer to sexual assault but instead to kidnapping. The shift in meaning occurred because so often sexually assault was implied as with ''The Rape of the Sabine Women'' or phrase "rape and pillage". Rape is also a type of plant in the mustard and cabbage category use to make vegetable oil. Nowadays, most people just call it canola, or the only slightly better sounding "rapeseed".
* The words “idiot”, “imbecile”, and “moron” were originally medical terms which described the mental age of a mentally disabled person. Nowadays, all three are used as insults synonymous with “stupid”.
** Similarly, the words “retarded” and “retard” originally meant “slowed” and “to slow” respectively, and were often used as shorthand for a person with mental retardation. Nowadays, the terms are used as insults denoting a person who is exceptionally stupid. There's also a [[https://www.musictheory.net/lessons/53 third use of "retardation" in music theory]], referring to when one note of a chord is kept late through a ChordProgression and then steps up.
* The word "villain", which is derived from the archaic "''villein''", originally referred to a lowly peasant or villager of free rank or a serf who acted as a lord's subject under the feudal system. As time progressed and the haughty upper-class people looked down on them, the word "villain" today usually refers to the BigBad, and its older meaning of a villager, serf or lord's servant nowadays is found in Medieval Literature or Creator/WilliamShakespeare's dramas and literature. (Shakespeare was on the very cusp of the word starting to mean a bad person, as his plays have such lines like "one may smile, and smile, and be a villain" implying a BitchInSheepsClothing rather than the "peasant" connotation, but also the use of "villain" as a ''generic'' insult for someone who isn't actually the baddie.)
* Whenever we hear the word "sinister", we usually think of it as a synonym for evil. In olden times, however, the word "sinister" originally referred to the left side of something, such as the left hand, with a number of superstitious people regarding southpaws as unlucky or cursed. In heraldry, when someone's coat of arms started off in the upper left hand corner (from the arms bearer's perspective, not the viewer's), a stripe or sash that started on the left hand shoulder would have people think that their birth was illegitimate. The older meaning of "sinister" is not entirely lost, since opthamologists and optometrists will use the abbreviation "O.S." for "oculus sinister", which simply means the left eye.
** Even though the same thing happened in Spanish with the word "siniestra/o", there is an old idiom still somewhat in use: ''"A diestra y siniestra"''. It literally means "to right and left", and it allegedly originated from battle (killing enemies right and left). The original meanings -still present in the official Spanish dictionary- of ''diestra'' and ''siniestra'' are right and left respectively. Nowadays, ''diestro/a'' means that the person has dexterity, or that they are right-handed, and ''siniestro/a'' means the same as sinister in English, with the sole exception of the mentioned idiom.
* The word "coward", which usually refers to someone who lacks courage to finish the battle they started, attacks someone disproportionately and resorts to underhanded attacks, or even the MilesGloriosus who runs when the action gets fierce, is derived from the Old French word "cowherd" or "couard", when the young boys of Gaulish times had the duty of tending the cows, and whenever danger arose, they were usually too timid to face wild animals or thieves, and as time progressed, the older meaning of "coward" as a herding boy is virtually forgotten.

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* HaveAGayOldTime/{{Advertising}}
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* HaveAGayOldTime/{{Literature}}
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* HaveAGayOldTime/{{Music}}
* HaveAGayOldTime/{{Mythology}}
* HaveAGayOldTime/NewspaperComics
* HaveAGayOldTime/ProfessionalWrestling
* HaveAGayOldTime/{{Radio}}
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* Other languages, German: A "Dirne" was simply a girl (and still is in dialect: cf. "Deern" and "Dirndl"). Nowadays it means a prostitute, but the word is so obsolete that it is only used semi-poetically even for that (akin to the English "harlot" and "strumpet"). "Wichsen" meant to apply shoe cream, but transfer by analogy [[ADateWithRosiePalms shifted the standard meaning completely.]] "Geil" went ping-pong. A biological term first ("wild") the meaning turned first into "horny" and by overuse it now rather means "cool, groovy" or something like that.
* With some words, the shift comes from a narrowing of the meaning. "Aroused" originally was just a past-tense version of "arise" and could be used to refer to all manner of raising, such as being awakened or having one's emotions stirred up, or rising sexual desire (usually accompanied with a [[SomethingElseAlsoRises physical rise in a certain part of the anatomy]]). Nowadays, nearly the only use for it is the sexual one, making the other uses in older works sound a bit funny. Likewise, "straight" originally could be the opposite of being morally crooked, strung out on drugs, or sexually devious. Nowadays, only the last definition is usually applied, and that usually only as opposed to homosexuality (though occasionally, one can still see it applied to other unconventional sexualities in warning labels on foreign works, e.g. "If you're straight and don't like incest, this manga is not for you.") Older works such as the TV special "Scared Straight" (about scaring kids out of juvenile delinquency and criminality) and drug-addled hippies talking about "getting my head straight" in movies may therefore seem rather, um… odd to contemporary viewers.
* There is a Finnish educational video titled ''Muna on mukava juttu'', "An egg is a nice thing", which tells about the health benefits of eggs. Unfortunately, showing the video to a school class is bound to cause some snickering due to the word "muna", "egg", also being a slang term for a penis. Make the word a plural and it either refers to multiple eggs or testicles. Cue laughter when one of the kids on the video instructs his friends to [[ADateWithRosiePalms "take the eggs in your hands…"]]
** Likewise, the Spanish word for "egg" is "huevo". "Huevos" both means "eggs", in the plural, and is used as a slang word for "testicles" in Spanish. Actually, "eggs" is a pretty common slang term for "testicles" worldwide: witness[[note]][[GeniusBonus There's a pun in there for anyone who knows Latin]].[[/note]] ''Eier'' in German and ''beiḍān'' (which specifically means "pair of eggs") in many Arabic dialects.
** The Nahuatl word for avocado (''āhuacatl'') was also used [[UsefulNotes/PreColumbianCivilizations in pre-Columbian Mexico]] to mean "testicle".
* A filmstrip put out by the LDS church back in the 70s has a funny example of this in its Spanish translation. The filmstrip is an allegory comparing a caterpillar in its cocoon to the resurrection. At one point, the younger brother insists that the caterpillar must be dead since it's been inside its cocoon for so long. The older brother explains to the younger brother that these things just take time and that "pronto saldrá de su capullo y será una bella mariposa." Technically, that means "soon he'll come out of his cocoon and be a beautiful butterfly." However, taking into account certain slang terms, it can also mean "soon he'll come out of his foreskin and be a beautiful gay man."
* The term "G-string" originally meant "a loincloth worn by American Indian men". Referring to ''the groin'', then an inappropriate term for polite company. ''G-string'' was intentionally juxtaposed with the musical term (the lowest string on a violin, which is tuned to the G note).
** [[http://bash.org/?352172 And this.]]
** [[http://static.skynetblogs.be/media/127560/dyn006_original_600_460_pjpeg_2625226_0303cc4615c024aa846099a0e10a5f75.jpg Artist's impression.]]
** [[Literature/TheEyeOfArgon Grignr]] wears one.
* The first Russian atlas was called "The Show of all the World". The word used to mean "show" back then now means "shame".
* A 1972 paper by WD Hamilton on the evolution of altruism in insects uses the word "bisexual" to mean that a behavior is found in both sexes of a species. Nowadays the term is "unisex".
* [[http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=bouncer Apparently]], a 1883 London Times article had this little line describing the role of a {{Bouncer}}:
-->" 'The Bouncer' is merely the English 'chucker out'. When liberty verges on license and gaiety on wanton delirium, the Bouncer selects the gayest of the gay, and--bounces him!"
* In the ''{{Literature/Flashman}}'' novels, the eponymous anti-hero uses genuine Victorian slang, in which "bouncers" are a coarse expression for female breasts.
* Various tv shows, movies, and animes up to around the mid 90's would sometimes refer to Condominiums as condoms for short... after a few decades of that we realized what we were saying and started using 'condo' instead.
** If this usage had continued, it would have given the ''VideoGame/{{Doom}} 2'' level "Monster Condo" a whole new meaning.
* UsefulNotes/{{XBox Live|Arcade}} once suspended a Fort Gay, West Virginia resident for putting the town's name as his profile location. That user brought it up with customer service, trying to convince them that Fort Gay is a real location, and had nothing to do with sexual orientation.
** This problem is a common one; for instance, in the British branch of AOL, it was (is?) difficult for residents of [[ScunthorpeProblem Scunthorpe]], ''Penis''tone etc. to get accounts.
* A long time ago, German men named Ignaz (from Ignatius) often got the nickname "Naz" or "Nazi". [[ThoseWackyNazis Guess why this stopped]] sometime during the twentieth century, especially with the latter nickname.
** But in America at least, the nickname was probably pronounced "Nazzy" rather than "Notzee."
** This hasn't stopped with "Naz" though. There is a female ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' character with Naz as a name.
** This is actually the origin of the term "Nazi" as we know it. The name Ignaz is common in Bavaria, a region stereotypically associated with rural hicks, so "Nazi" (being a nickname for Ignaz) became a term for "yokel" in Germany. When the ''Nationalsozialistische'' ("National Socialist") party came along, its opponents shortened ''Nationalsozialistische'' to "Nazi" in order to insult them. It helped that the Nazi Party originated in Bavaria.
* In the (German) opera Lohengrin, the title character insists upon being called the Leader rather than the Duke of Brabant. In the opera itself, the word Führer was originally used for "Leader" in performances. This was changed to Schützer for reasons that [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler should be obvious]].
* George Gordon, 1st Duke of Gordon was known as "the Gay Gordon", primarily because of his ''many'' extramarital affairs, but also because of a general love of high life.
** A popular Scottish [[LetsHaveACeilidh ceilidh]] dance is called "The gay Gordons"
* The word 'courtesan' is also a fine example. At one time, it was simply the word that applied to women who had a position at Court, just as 'courtier' applies to men. (It's from French ''courtisane'' or Italian ''cortigiana'', which are simply the feminine forms of the words for 'courtier', ''courtisan'' or ''cortigiano''.) [[HighClassCallGirl Now]]...
** This is brought up in ''Series/{{Moonlight}}'', when Mick tells Beth that Coraline used to be a courtesan in pre-Revolutionary France. Beth immediately assumes this means a "hooker", but Mick explains that it simply means a "lady of the court". However, Coraline does have a fleur-de-lis brand on her shoulder, which some assume means that she was a prostitute.
* A [[GratuitousFrench French]] example: The verb ''baiser'', which originally meant "to kiss," now ''only'' means "to fuck." (Confusingly, the '''noun''' ''un baiser'' still [[Film/{{Casablanca}} is just a kiss]]; the noun for "a fuck" is ''une baise''. The modern verb for "to kiss" is ''embrasser.'') Since this verb was obviously used abundantly in earlier times, it's very common to find it in old works of literature... and even old dictionaries, much to the dismay of students of French.
** This may have been deliberately invoked in ''Manga/HunterXHunter'', which actually has a character named Baise. Her power is to invoke intense sexual desire of any type she likes in any man by kissing him.
** Likewise, nowadays ''embrasser'' is usually taken as meaning "to kiss", but etymologically it means "to take in one's arms". Those evolutions are related, by the way, as ''embrasser'' started to take its modern meaning to make up for ''baiser'' having increasingly vulgar connotations (all of this dates back from the second half of the 19th century).
* Former MEP Godfrey Bloom of the far right UK Independence Party used this trope to justify remarks in which he [[StayInTheKitchen referred to women who don't clean behind the fridge regularly as "sluts"]]. His excuse was that the word "slut" apparently used to mean a lazy or slovenly woman. [[note]]He was right. It goes back to Chaucer and meant slob. Dust mice used to be "slut's wool". Later a slut was a maid whose job was to ''clean'' filthy messes.[[/note]] It didn't work, and Bloom was forced to resign.
* When the term [[UsefulNotes/BlackHoles "black hole"]] came into vogue in the West in the 1960s, the older terms "collapsar", "collapsed star", or "frozen star" remained in use in Russia for some time longer. As it happens, the direct translation of "black hole" (Чёрная дыра/chornaya dyra) has a somewhat scatological meaning in Russian slang.
* In computing, "to hack" used to refer to programming (said to be from the "hack-hack-hack" noise of typing on a Teletype 33 or one of its many clones). However, tabloid newspapers tend to abuse the term to mean penetration of security systems (for which the correct term is "cracking"). This is probably due to ''{{Film/Tron}}'', where Kevin Flynn in one early scene admits "I've been doing a little hacking" ("I've written a program to penetrate Encom"), which is easily misinterpreted as "I have penetrated Encom". Some organisations, such as the Raspberry Pi Foundation and the Inkscape Foundation, are trying to reclaim "hacking" in its original meaning.
* In medical usage, a "thrill" means a pulse that can be detected with the fingertips, and "to feel for a thrill" thus means to search for the patient's pulse. This can lead to unfortunate double meanings depending on which part of the body the doctor is searching for a pulse, especially if it's a male doctor and a female patient.
* Not extremely awkward, but before "cool" became a synonym for "hip", it meant cold (as in, bland or unemotional). Confusion easily arises when, in older literature, a character who ''anything but'' is described as "cool" (when the writer meant to use it in a similar metaphorical sense as that assigned to "cold").
* In politics, terms now reserved for very bad leaders were once neutral terms. The term "despot" was a title given to members of the Byzantine royal family. A "tyrant" was an ancient Greek monarch who did not inherit his position. A "dictator" was a Roman official who held absolute power for six months during times of emergency.
* The Nazis ruined many terms for the Germans. The term "Reich", once used to mean "state" or "realm", and still used in the Lord's Prayer, is now almost universally associated with the Third Reich". The term "Fuehrer", which meant "leader" or "guide", is now associated exclusively with Hitler; other uses are found only in compound words. The term "Kamerad", meaning "comrade", having been adopted as a Nazi form of address, is no longer used outside of compound words such as Klassenkameraden (classmates). Even the Communists use "Genosse" where, in other languages, they use "comrade".
* The original usage of Pilot referred to sailor who guided ships through dangerous or congested waters. While it is still used in that sense the newer definition of aircraft pilot is a lot more common and the original usage can sound strange to modern ears (for example in ''Theater/PiratesOfPenzance'').
* In Esperanto, the word ''gaja'' means "cheerful" or "merry". [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Take a wild guess where the term came from.]] [[note]] Esperanto was created in the 19th century, and thus contains relics of that era - another example would be ''knabo'', meaning "boy", from the German ''Knabe'', although modern German instead uses ''Junge'' to mean boy. [[/note]]
* The name of the town of Fort Gay, West Virginia actually got one of its residents [[https://kotaku.com/5632871/xbox-live-gamer-suspended-for-living-in-fort-gay banned from Xbox Live]] when he listed it as his place of residence, due to Microsoft thinking that he put it in there as an insult. Even the town's mayor tried to intervene, to no avail. Fortunately, the situation did eventually get reversed when Stephen Toulouse, the director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live, personally intervened.