infamous = 'talked-about; popular'

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 20 23:03:48 UTC 2013

I have a friend who's been using "infamous" in speech in very weakened
senses for many years.

When he says, "the infamous [somebody]," it usually means "the [somebody]
you're so familiar with."

My guess is it began as humor in his case. He's a high-school teacher.


On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 5:12 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: infamous = 'talked-about; popular'
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 6:58 AM, Jonathan Lighter
> <wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> > The only meaning I can extract is "well-reported, esp. if diverting."
> You're a better extractor than I, Gunga-Jon. I couldn't make any sense
> of it at all. But I only saw "infamous round of golf" quoted somewhere
> on line. I didn't hear it or read the accompanying article and my own
> reading,
> "round of golf with the infamous Tiger Woods,"
> wherein "infamous" has its usual meaning, seemed very unlikely, in context.
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
> to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
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