April 19, 2024

Highandright

Entertain Reaching Stars

Wicked Good

2 min read

I grew up in Maine and the word wicked seemed to be as commonly used as “like” in a valley girl today. In most of the country when someone used “wicked” in a sentence it likely means something related to the dictionary definition.

In Maine “wicked” replaces such less colorful adjectives and adverbs as very, extremely, and really.

Wicked is most commonly teamed with good, making something “wicked good.” I’ve had wicked good apple pie with vanilla ice cream, seen wicked good movies and read wicked good books. I’d have called Schindler’s List a wicked good movie. Right now I’m reading Matterhorn, by Karl Malantes, and so far it is very good but falling short of wicked. Here in Washington I never use the term, but as soon as I get back to Maine it starts to become a part of my vocabulary again. “Wicked bad” for some reason is far less commonly used as a colloquialism. I suspect this is because this could lead to more confusion, as wicked and bad seem almost the same. Even in Maine we try to avoid double negatives.

The pronunciation of the word wicked is key to not being seen as a Maniac wannabe. The emphasis needs to be on the first syllable, and an almost imperceptible pause before the second syllable is usually used for emphasis. It sounds like “Wick’-id” This is especially important is describing things dear to a real Maniac’s heart. A trout that puts up a wicked good fight before you net it needs good emphasis on the wick syllable. A wicked good pass by the high school quarterback to get a key first down against the arch rival school needs to be done slowly for emphasis.

It’s hard to go a day in my home town without hearing this very common figure of speech used many times. If I heard someone back home say something was awfully good, or especially good it would seem odd.

I enjoy going home every summer for lots of reasons, but one of the most important is the wicked good lobster feed we share at camp. It’s just too bad the visits go by so wicked fast.

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