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A)melioration' is thus the tendency for a word "[to] become associated with more favorable concepts than before" (Moessner 2003: 150), as illustrated by nice, from Latin nescius, originally 'simple, ignorant', but now 'friendly, approachable' (cf.
heu quoties oft shall he fidem Of Faith and changed Gods Mutatosque deosflebit, & complain: and Seas aspera Rough with black winds and storms Nigris aequora vends Unwonted shall admire: Emirabitur insolens, Who now enjoyes thee Qui nunc tefruitur credulus credulous, all Gold, aurea: Who alwayes vacant alwayes Qui semper vacuum, semper amiable amabilem Hopes thee; of flattering gales Sperat, nescius aurae Unmindfull.
heu quotiens fidem mutatosque deos flebit et aspera nigris aequora uentis emirabitur insolens, qui nunc te fruitur 10 credulus aurea, qui semper uacuam, semper amabilem sperat, nescius aurae fallacis.
One of the oddest derivations from Latin has given us the word nice, which comes through the French from nescius (ignorant).
diluis elleborum, certo compescere puncto nescius examen: vetat hoc natura medendi.
Derived from the Latin nescius meaning "ignorant", the word began life in the 14th century as a term for "foolish" or "silly".
The emphasis on the word nescius is apparent: it is placed at the beginning of a new line, but right at the end of the sentence to which it applies.
Nice: (from the Latin nescius, ignorant) and all too often for appearances.
Indocilis rerum, vicinae nescius urbis adspectu fruitur liberiore poli.
Del latin nescius, 'que no sabe, ignorante', que desconoce lo que podia o debia saber; imprudente, terco, porfiado y falto de razon.
Deriving from Latin nescius 'not knowing', it referenced a simpleton, then, the first of several shifts, a wanton, a flashy dresser, a scrupulous and discriminating person (as in a nice distinction), finally a pleasant character, to give only a very succinct history of the term's application to persons.
This Old French word came in turn from a Latin word nescius that meant "ignorant.