It’s uncanny


It’s mysterious

TRANSLATION

uncanny = unheimlich; verblüffend; mysteriös; seltsam —- uncanny likeness = frappierende Ähnlichkeit — to bear an uncanny resemblance to sb. = jdm. verblüffend ähnlich sehen

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“I knew people found me UNCANNY and strange – then came the diagnosis that explained it all…”
 
Joanne Limburg writing about her autism in The Guardian

Did you
know?

uncanny
adjective

- strange or mysterious; difficult or impossible to explain

Cambridge Dictionary


ORIGIN

Originally Scottish and northern English, uncanny first appeared in the 1590s in the sense of mischievous (spitzbübisch). By the late 18th century the meaning had become associated with mystery and the supernatural.

——
THREE MYSTERIOUS WORDS
 
WEIRD and EERIE are synonyms of UNCANNY, but there are subtle differences.


(1) UNCANNY implies disquieting strangeness or mysteriousness:

- Some people have the uncanny ability to wake up in the morning at an exact time.
- Monika bears an uncanny resemblance to my sister.

Synonyms: impenetrable, inscrutable, enigmatic(al), arcane


(2) WEIRD may be used to describe something that is generally strange or out of the ordinary:

- Look at that weird cloud formation.
- That’s weird, these numbers don’t add up.

Synonyms: odd, strange, curious, bizarre


(3) EERIE suggests an uneasy or fearful consciousness that some kind of mysterious or evil powers are at work:

- There were a few seconds of eerie quietness immediately after the explosion
- I had an eerie feeling before the accident.

Synonyms: creepy, haunting, spooky, unearthly


CONFUSION OF OPPOSITES

English also has the word canny, but canny and uncanny should not be interpreted as opposites. Canny, which first appeared in English in the 16th century, means “clever,” “shrewd” or “prudent,” as in “a canny lawyer” or “a canny investment.”


THAT’S FUNNY

The meaning of the word FUNNY is sometimes unclear. Native speakers may sometimes ask “Do you mean funny-strange (mysteriös), or funny-haha (lustig).


Have you ever had an UNCANNY experience? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line at: support@owad.de


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