I hear people say this all the time:
“Oh, she’s such a nice person.”
Or, my favorite:
“He’s really a nice guy once you get to know him.”
I just don’t understand what it means to be “nice.”
So I looked it up.
According to Merriam-Webster online, “nice” means a lot of things. And the one we’re most familiar with — “pleasing, agreeable” — is actually the fifth definition. (The first is “wanton, dissolute” and “coy, reticent.”)
“Nice” can also mean “appropriate, fitting” and “socially acceptable” and “virtuous, respectable,” too.
When you look at the spectrum of meanings, I think we all tend to throw around the word “nice” a little too carelessly.
I say this because I hear people call other people “nice” when they’re just shy or quiet or smiley. I’ve always felt “nice” was something deeper — more along the lines of virtuous and respectable, I supposed.
And maybe that’s OK to call someone you don’t know “nice” if you mean they’re “agreeable” or “socially acceptable.” But we put a lot of weight into whether a person is nice to not. We date “nice” people. We hire “nice” people. We set up our friends with “nice” people. We rent parts of our homes to “nice” people. We entrust our children’s (and dogs’) safety with “nice” people.
When maybe we should look a little deeper.
I don’t know why I started thinking about this, except I’ve heard people toss around this descriptor so often it’s a little annoying. I mean, if all you can say about someone is that he’s “nice,” either you don’t know the person that well or you don’t know what the word really means.
Anyone got a thought on this?
Oh, and have a socially acceptable day! (smile)
could be nice is not judging a book by its cover. or, and the loss of self and ego. like letting someone merge ahead of u in traffic. or something.
Nice job, Cat!
Nice post. Sorry, I mean insightful post. Two things strike me. First, Dating: “Go out with her, she’s nice.” Could also be “he’s nice.” It may be true, but more likely it’s code for: “Weighs somewhere under 600 lbs and has a large jar of human eyeballs in her fridge.”
Second red flag usage. Him: “I’m sorry it was over so quickly; this never happens.” Her: “It was fine…nice…really.” He should have warned her about his quick trigger, and it wasn’t among her nicest exoeriences. If he’s otherwise a jerk, this is sure to be mentioned over Margaritas with the girls.
Been there, both scenarios. Gulp.
In a society where it is often the case one has to read between the lines nice is a small land mine. A bouncing Betty if you will. Another is the ever popular ‘thanks’ which is used to convey a variety of things. My sister frequently uses it to call people A$$H**LE$. Let’s call it a claymore. But the exploding word of the century is surely ‘like’ as in I really like you. It is used to describe those deep feelings one has when they enjoy sleeping with someone… and that is about it. Call this a flame fougasse if you will. So imagine the horror when after a night of heated passion with the person of your dreams you ask the person how much they enjoyed it and they smile and say ‘thanks, it was really nice, I really like you.’ Call this an Arges. And then go home.
Have a Nice day!
Good morning & welcome back!
Nice is best judged on your actions when no one is looking, judging or having any possible ulterior motive. For example, if you’re on a trip & see an elderly person struggling, do you help, ignore or just hope someone else is NICE? When you make a decision that may negatively impact those under you, but you have to because that’s your job, do you try anything to soften the blow, even if you know you will not be appreciated or even criticized?
That is being NICE, irrespective of a smile or just being pleasant.
btw, when I went to NYC, contrary to what some people were saying, we met some of the nicest people there and NO it wasn’t because we were from Hawaii!
isn’t “nice” similar to “da kine”? depends on the inflection, and two people who are on the same page know which meaning to assign it in a particular situation (whereas the meaning can be lost or confused, often to comedic or socially tragic results, if both parties aren’t on the same page).
Hey Cat … yeah, I agree that “nice” is used way to often … just like the word “amazing”, but I digress …
… I think it’s because it’s such an easy word to use … and it’s appropriate for so many situations … but I think mostly because we have become too damn LAZY to think of other words to say …
… anyway, it’s not such a bad word …
… haven’t we all strived to be on Santa’s “NICE” list??? … that would be the ultimate, right??? …
What about the word “friend”? I feel like now a days – the term acquaintance is not as socially acceptable and ppl use friend more frequently. Esp now with Facebook. there is no such thing as “acquaintancebook” you know what I mean? Same thoughts about the word “nice”. Thanks for always being AWESOME! 😀
No kidding. Same with people who say they “love” you and you just met them.
That is a blog subject if there ever was one. Some believe in that love at first sight thing. Some think it stupid. Some separate love into many pieces… ‘different kinds of love’ and so on. Bet you’d get a lot of feedback on this one.
I thought girls don’t like to date nice boys, they prefer jerks.