'Way Cool', an accepted part of everyday speech from nursey school to the workplace and beyond.

Initially a trendy phrase for the Vacuous Valley Girls of Califonia now in common use both sides of the Atlantic. Nowadays the use of 'way' has extended to such phrases as 'way nice' and 'way tired' etc. No different form 'way cool' but somehow not quite idiomatic.

The use of 'way' as an intensifying adverb to replace 'very' is American but older than you might think, used in the early 19th century, coupled with prepositions to indicate distance ie; 'way over there'
'way down south'
'way off course'

Another example was 'way out' although by the '50's it could be used to describe people who didn't share your taste for beige.

All these way idioms came about through the erosion of the initial 'a' in 'away', common also in the Northern English and Scots.

Thereafter 'away' gave way to 'way' as the word settled down to mean little more than the aforementioned 'much' or 'very'.

The actual roots of the word 'way' means path or road and is found in the earliest Anglo-Saxon texts.

Fascinating huh?

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