Can ‘straszny’ (adjective) also mean ‘creepy’, as well as horrible/awful/terrible? Thanks!
Oh yeah, that’s actually what I’d call the original meaning of the word. It then started spilling over to include meanings such as terrible/awful (i.e. “bad”).
If someone says they saw a “straszny film”, they probably mean a horror/thriller movie and not a bad movie (though you can never be too sure!).
Also, the adverb “strasznie” is nowadays used as a modifier meaning “very” or “really” in colloquial language. So you can sometimes hear things like “strasznie smaczny” (= very, very tasty), “strasznie przystojny” (= very, very handsome) or “strasznie drogi” (= very, very expensive).
Thanks for the extra information. I was in a restaurant in Poland last week and I heard two diners sat next to us, one of them asked the other what his soup was like, to which the reply was ‘strasznie smaczny’. I thought he was saying the soup was horrible! Now that I understand that ‘strasznie’ can colloquially mean ‘awfully’, in the sense of ‘extremely’ (therefore, ‘awfully/extremely tasty’), I wish that I had ordered the soup!
That’s such a vivid example!
I definitely understand the potential for confusion here. I used to have a similar problem with words such as “terrific” or “awfully” in English, which—though derived from “negative” roots—are more commonly used in their positive sense, especially in colloquial speech.