I was told that at one time the superlative "worst" was not correct. It used to be "bad worse worse"rather than "bad worse worst".
Is this true? If so, when did the change take place?

Thank you.

Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum.

1. First of all, here is the etymology of the word "worst."

O.E. wyrresta, from P.Gmc. *wers-ista- (cf. O.S. wirsista, O.N. verstr, O.Fris. wersta, O.H.G. wirsisto), superlative of PIE *wers- "to confuse, mix up" (see worse). The verb meaning "damage, inflict loss upon" is first recorded 1602, from the adj. Phrase in the worst way (1839) is from Amer.Eng. sense of "most severely."

note: O.E. means Old English

2. From ""

1. Most bad, awful or unpleasant, etc.
2. Most grave, severe, acute or dire.
3. Most inferior; lowest in standard.
Thesaurus: poorest, lowest, least.

1. The worst thing, part or possibility.
2. The most advanced degree of badness.

1. Most severely; most badly.

worsted, worsting
1. To defeat someone; to get the better of them.
Thesaurus: vanquish, subdue, overpower, defeat, conquer, best, subjugate, beat.

Idiom: at its etc worst
In the worst state or severest degree.

Idiom: at worst (at the worst)
In the worst possible circumstances.

Taking the most unfavourable or pessimistic view.

Idiom: do your worst
An indignant expression rejecting or defying a threat, etc.

Idiom: get the worst of something (come off worst in something)
To lose a fight or argument, etc.

Idiom: if the worst comes to the worst
If the worst happens.

Etymology: Anglo-Saxon wyrst, the adjective form used as a superlative of bad and ill.

3. From my dictionary:

Main Entry: [1]worst
Pronunciation: 'w&rst
Function: adjective, superlative of <sc>bad <it>or of <sc>ill
Etymology: Middle English werste, worste, from Old English wierresta, wyrsta, superlative of the root of Old English wiersa worse
Date: before 12th century
1 : most corrupt, bad, evil, or ill
2 a : most unfavorable, difficult, unpleasant, or painful b : most unsuitable, faulty, unattractive, or ill-conceived c : least skillful or efficient
3 : most wanting in quality, value, or condition
- the worst way : very much <such men�c need indoctrination the worst way —J. G. Cozzens> — often used with in <wanted a new bicycle in the worst way>

Therefore the adjective is "bad," the comparative is "worse" and the superlative is still "worst."

It has not changed. Whoever told you that is incorrect!

bad, worse, worst <~~the correct forms of this adjective
Scroll down to Degrees of adjectives.


  1. 👍 0
  2. 👎 0
  3. 👁 106
asked by Mary

Respond to this Question

First Name

Your Response

Similar Questions

  1. English

    What is the correct superlative form of bad? A. Worse B. Baddest C. Worsest D. Worst D

    asked by Susan on May 13, 2014
  2. Grammar PLease Check MY answers!

    Is there a mistake with the superlative adverb? 1. Thomas sauntered casuallyier to the podium and waited. a. Change casuallyier to most casually . b. Change casuallyier to casualiest . c. Change casuallyier to more casuallyier .

    asked by Mandie on April 3, 2013

    This was the worst train accident in last ten years. Last = adjective- superlative degree

    asked by Anonymous on May 12, 2014
  4. english

    Need help trying to disquinguish between superlative & comparative adjectives. ex: good Comparative is used for comparing two things or people or ideas or ?? taller, stronger, more beautiful, etc. Comparative is denoted by the -er

    asked by inez on November 20, 2006
  5. grammar

    need to know some examples for the nominative comparative and superlative of irregular words apart from good better best , bad worse worst and little less least

    asked by sara on October 5, 2011
  6. 5th Grade English Grammar

    positive comparative superlative for troubled, straight, friendly, dry, safe, useful, flat, willing, blue, worst, and sad. Thanks.

    asked by Bob on April 27, 2017
  7. English

    I just want to see if these are correct. Orig.1.He was sad to leave. (superlative) S/B 1. He was saddened to leave. Orig. 2. She ran as fast as the others on the team (comparative) S/B 2. She ran faster than the others ran on the

    asked by Margaret on September 5, 2006
  8. Language

    What is the superlative form of "often"? most often ? I'm not 100% sure but if i can remember i believe that the superlative of often is: amoftesten (the o has the two dots on top) because the comparative would be: ofter (with the

    asked by Brenda on January 23, 2007
  9. English and Grammar

    I choose to do research on Avoidant personality disorder or APD because a friend of is suffering from APD and I’m having trouble how to approach him. My friend’s name is Jim. He told me that he started to feel the symptoms

    asked by john on November 23, 2012
  10. com/170

    • Write several sentences describing a recent interaction with a friend or family member about personal finance or credit cards. This interaction may be imagined or real. • Use at least five different pronouns, adverbs, and

    asked by marie on February 3, 2011

More Similar Questions