It's dark. You're alone. Was that a footstep? Did something just brush up against you? You fight to get up, but you're stuck ... right on top of you is a horrifying nightmare. Sorry, did you say a nightmare was on top of me?
Why does the word "nice" rub us the wrong way? Why don't people want to date the nice guy? What's so wrong with nice? Doesn't every mom wish you would meet a nice guy?
Shut up began as a verb phrase meaning "to secure something away in a receptacle." Shut it up! By the 1500s, it meant "to confine someone," "to close a door or window," or "to bring to a conclusion." Creepy ... Then Jane Austen and Charles Dickens came around, and they used it a bit more rudely.