Dive (was Re: Sad hour)

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 9 06:09:28 UTC 2014

For city neighborhoods and real estate, that sounds like
"gentrification". Any reason this can't be adopted for your purposes.

I'm assuming this is different from such developments as "queer" (and,
perhaps, Obamacare) where an offensive or denigrating term is
deliberately adopted by the proponents as a rallying cry, so it has
diametrically opposite connotation for two different groups of speakers
(unified by something other than region, ethnicity or time, although
many state resident nicknames, such as Buckeye and Tarheel, have similar


On 1/8/2014 8:44 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> Is there a term (other than more general terms like "rehabilitation", "reclamation", or "amelioration") for the process in which a pejorative term associated with the lower classes (in both economic and moral senses) is upgraded in this way? (Joel's "interesting because off-beat" gloss often comes close to describing the end-result.)  I'm thinking not only of "dive" for places but "rascal", "scamp", or "rogue" for people, and "raffish" or "louche" for the associated properties.  In each case, the earliest OED cites/glosses are all quite negative, and some of the synonyms of such words (e.g. those descriptors listed in the OED under these headings) haven't been as fortunate:  "sleazy", "creep", "villain",...  "Going rogue" is one thing (and has been since at least 1932), "going villain/unprincipled", if it exists at all, would be something else.  The fact that "dive" and "dive bar" seem to have parted evaluative company is a nice illustration of this randomness in which ite!
>    get pardoned.
> LH

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