Terribly good!

Article published on May 11, 2005
Article published on May 11, 2005

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Should a francophone Canadian one day describe you, or your actions, as effrayant, meaning “frightening”, then don’t be shocked. The phrase C'est effrayant! is an exclamation of enthusiasm and approval in Quebec. Also in Europe the terrible is no longer terrifying - quite the opposite in fact - and the British “wicked!” does not mean wicked, evil or nasty but cool, unusual or, well, wicked! If a party in France was terrible, it was fantastic and in Rome too you can express your enthusiasm with the word terribile! – but be warned! Say that to someone from Milan and you run the risk of not only being misunderstood but of also being considered a defeatist.