My feed

to access all these features

Pedants' corner


14 replies

ScrambledSmegs · 14/10/2016 19:40

Tell me what it means, please. I thought I used to know, and I've checked the dictionary definitions which confirm my belief, but I keep seeing and hearing it used in contexts I wouldn't normally expect.

Has the meaning evolved recently? And could you please tell me what that meaning is because fuck knows, I'm getting mightily confused just reading threads on here sometimes, let alone listening to the radio station my kids like.

OP posts:
Brontebiscuits · 14/10/2016 19:42

What does mortified mean? To me it means being incredibly embarrassed.

MarklahMarklah · 14/10/2016 19:45

I'd use it to mean incredibly embarrassed, too.

bigkidsdidit · 14/10/2016 19:46

Yes me too - but it seems to mean 'angry' now too. I don't know if that use is regional or a young person's thingGrin

ParadiseCity · 14/10/2016 19:48

So utterly embarrassed I wanted the ground to swallow me up.

ScrambledSmegs · 14/10/2016 19:50

That's what I understand it to mean too. That's what the dictionary defines it as unless you're talking about mortification of the flesh, which is something completely different.

However recently I've heard people using it in contexts I just don't get. Like a young man on the radio being interviewed about the cat murders in Croydon - apparently when he heard about it he was mortified. Why? He wasn't killing the cats, to my knowledge. He wasn't even from Croydon Confused.

In addition, a woman at the supermarket talking quite loudly about her sister's breast cancer, saying how she was mortified. Why? What's embarrassing about cancer? It's a hideous disease but I don't think embarrassing.

OP posts:
ScrambledSmegs · 14/10/2016 19:52

Oh, angry. That would make sense, in context. Thank you, bigkids Thanks

OP posts:
TyneTeas · 14/10/2016 19:54

Usually in the context of embarrassed but sometimes hear it in the context of horrified or appalled too (which fits the above cat and cancer examples)

daisiesinherfootsteps · 14/10/2016 19:54

I also wondered this recently. I've always understood it to mean extreme embarrassment, but noticed a new friend of mine uses it to mean (assuming from context) more like 'shocked/upset' She's from a different area so I too wondered if it's regional.

GuybrushThreepwoodMightyPirate · 14/10/2016 19:55

It seems recently to have become almost synonymous with horrified from the usage I've overheard. I have assumed that the 'ified' suffix is the cause of this.

Overthinking it slightly but I have wondered whether people are making a link from 'mort' to 'death' and therefore inferring that it means a terribly bad thing, rather than an embarrassing thing iyswim.

Garthmarenghi · 14/10/2016 19:57

Embarrassed with more than a hint of shame

daisiesinherfootsteps · 14/10/2016 19:57

Ooh actually angry/horrified/appalled would fit the context my friend used too. Totally not how I would ever use the word though, how confusing.

hugoagogo · 14/10/2016 19:59

Yes it means very embarrassed, but I suppose some people think it just means very upset.
I hope it's just some people misinterpreting the meaning from context; rather than a shift in the meaning.

ScrambledSmegs · 14/10/2016 20:17

Oh, horrified definitely works. Thanks Guybrush. It's probably just misinterpretation but it seems to be widespread. I've heard it in enough jarring contexts to start a thread about it anyway!

OP posts:
MardyBra · 07/11/2016 15:11

I remember Benedict Cumberbatch said he was mortified about something a while back - fans filming him from the audience or something. And he got accused of overreacting because people didn't understand what the term meant.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.