Halloween Vocabulary

Some scary Halloween vocabulary have double-meanings that can be used year round!  Take a look at the chart below to see the differences.

Vocabulary

Halloween Meaning

Additional Meaning

Familiar

 

(n.) A pet animal kept by witches that is said to change into human shape

E.g. The witch’s familiar crept behind her slowly.

(adj.)  Well known from a close association

E.g. That woman’s face looks very familiar to me. I wonder if I met her before.

Hysterical

 

(adj.)  Crazy, out of control, suffering from an emotional disorder

E.g.  That wild scientist has lost his mind!  He’s hysterical!

(adj.) Extremely funny

E.g.  Did you see Russell Peters last night?  His comedy is hysterical!

Grave

 

(n.)  A place of burial for a dead body, usually a hole in the ground

E.g.  We buried the killers body last year.  But when I visited his grave yesterday, his body was gone!

(adj.)  A very serious situation giving cause for alarm

E.g. The boss is coming to talk to you.  Watch out, he’s got a grave expression on his face.

Sick

 

(adj.)  Someone who looks unwell, disgusting, or unappealing

E.g.  The monster’s face looked pale and sick.  Ooze dripped from his lips.

(adj.)  Informal  An awesome and exciting person, place or thing.

E.g. Wow! That movie was so sick!

Wicked

 

(adj.)  Evil or bad

E.g.  You could tell by the crooked smile on the stranger’s face that he was wicked.  He could not be trusted.

(adj.)  Informal  An awesome and exiting person, place or thing.

E.g. I love those snowboarders!  Their tricks  are wicked!

If you’ve never experienced a Halloween before, I’m sure there is a lot more than its vocabulary that you think is strange!  Decorating houses in spider cobwebs and carving scary faces in orange pumpkins is not a common, universal celebration.  Don’t be scared, however.  Nowadays Halloween is all about tricks and treats: kids having fun and dressing up to visit neighbors houses in search of candy.  It’s the one time a year everyone can put on a costume and pretend to be someone, or something else, and that’s a pretty wicked thing.  (In the informal sense of the word!)