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Today I learned a new word "Nive". When I google search, I found on urbandictionary it says nive "means cool. without actually having to say cool. cuz cool is an ugly word."

My question is that - is cool an ugly word? When should I use nive instead?

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    Don't take Urban Dict too seriously. Actually, read it for fun but never base any of your decisions on what it says. – Gábor May 24 at 17:38
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There is nothing wrong with “cool” as an informal sign of approval. I disagree with the Urban Dictionary editor who said that it’s ugly. In fact, as far as informal words go, “cool” is quite a venerable example, since it has been in use since as early as the 1960s I suspect.

The only reason I’d use “nive” — which I hadn’t heard of until now — would be if I was in the (probably very small) group of (probably teenage) speakers who use it.

And by way of an additional, slightly off-topic piece of advice: Since this group is English Language Learners, I’d recommend that you don’t rely too much on Urban Dictionary. It, and sites like it, deal with the very “bleeding edge” of English, as it morphs and changes, almost in real time. There’s nothing wrong with that, and is part of what makes English such a powerful and rich language, but it’s not the best place for most learners. As an example, take the word you ask about, “nive”. It’s not clear it’s even an English word yet and no one would fault you for treating it suspiciously and even refusing to use it.

That said, I do value Urban Dictionary because it lets me scare my kids when they find out I know slang words that they thought were only understood by them. For example, the expression on my 12 year old’s face when I told her that her eyebrows were “on fleek” was priceless! 🙂

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    Hah! I thought it was en flic and, since I heard it on So You Think You Can Dance, that it was some kind of ballet move ;) – TypeIA May 23 at 7:15
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    One other thing to note about Urban dictionary is that it is crowd-sourced and not very serious. Often the entries there are jokes or exaggerations and it may be difficult for a learner to get a complete understanding. Often the entries are sarcastic or reference things that may not be well-known outside a certain region or group. – ColleenV May 23 at 11:15
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    What is "on fleek"? – Wilson May 23 at 15:00
  • @ColleenV I think that last sentence was most important. Slang varies considerably depending on the region. I live in the Scotland, and the slang we use here is different from what people use in Glasgow which is different to what people say in Aberdeen. Sometimes you can travel 30 minutes down the road and the slang will be different (where I went to primary school, using "jamp" as the past tense of "jump" was the norm, but got some funny looks from people when we moved down the road as a teen). – DoctorPenguin May 23 at 15:34
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    @Wilson As with most new slang/urban dictionary content ignorance is bliss; but urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Fleek – Dan Neely May 23 at 23:21
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Urban dictionary has a definition for everything, the majority of words on UD have probably only been used by less than 10 people. I have never seen the word "nive" before and I doubt anyone you speak to will have either.

The primary useful use for Urban Dictionary is to work out a new word that you see people actively using means and even then there is usually a bunch of nonsense under the highest rated post.

To answer your question in the title, there is nothing wrong with using the word "Cool" in IMs. There is some risk of seeming dismissive or rude if someone sends you a long message expecting some kind of feedback and you reply with a single word response or even worse, a single letter response.

  • usefulness I'd say. :) – Lambie May 24 at 14:35
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    I can imagine there's some group of people who use "nive" and that it originated as a typo of "nice" -- much like "pwned" or "hodl". – David Richerby May 24 at 18:17
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Many have already told you why Urban Dictionary is not to be taken too seriously but... let's see what's happening here exactly.

means cool. without actually having to say cool. cuz cool is an ugly word.

First of all, notice that this definition is written in a very colloquial style. The first sentence doesn't even have a subject. No capitalization. Full stops instead of commas. "cuz" instead of because ('cause).

This is the norm at Urban Dictionary, where people write like they speak.

So, since you're an English Language Learner, it is important that you are aware that this is not "proper" English (i.e. standard English). Of course you don't need to write in standard English in everyday life, but knowing what standard English looks like will allow you to know what's the proper form and to consciously decide when not to use it.

The second point I want to make is that the last sentence is sarcastic.

In other words, the definition tells us that "nive" means cool. Yeah, like if we were in need of another word to say the same thing. I'll rephrase the definition.

"Nive" means "cool". But it is a different word, so those people that use "nive" can avoid saying "cool". Which would only make sense it they thought that "cool" was an ugly word (implied: which it isn't).

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No, cool is not an ugly word. And the Urban Dictionary is not to be taken seriously! It's almost a parody.

Also, just say whatever you want, you don't have to adjust your speech for anyone just to appear "cool"..... :)

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