Words related to bad

evil (adj.)

Old English yfel (Kentish evel) "bad, vicious, ill, wicked," from Proto-Germanic *ubilaz (source also of Old Saxon ubil, Old Frisian and Middle Dutch evel, Dutch euvel, Old High German ubil, German übel, Gothic ubils), from PIE *upelo-, from root *wap- "bad, evil" (source also of Hittite huwapp- "evil").

In Old English and other older Germanic languages other than Scandinavian, "this word is the most comprehensive adjectival expression of disapproval, dislike or disparagement" [OED]. Evil was the word the Anglo-Saxons used where we would use bad, cruel, unskillful, defective (adj.), or harm (n.), crime, misfortune, disease (n.). In Middle English, bad took the wider range of senses and evil began to focus on moral badness. Both words have good as their opposite. Evil-favored (1520s) meant "ugly." Evilchild is attested as an English surname from 13c.

The adverb is Old English yfele, originally of words or speech. Also as a noun in Old English, "what is bad; sin, wickedness; anything that causes injury, morally or physically." Especially of a malady or disease from c. 1200. The meaning "extreme moral wickedness" was one of the senses of the Old English noun, but it did not become established as the main sense of the modern word until 18c.

As a noun, Middle English also had evilty. Related: Evilly. Evil eye (Latin oculus malus) was Old English eage yfel. The jocular notion of an evil twin as an excuse for regrettable deeds is by 1986, American English, from an old motif in mythology.

worse (adj.)
Old English wiersa, wyrsa "worse," from Proto-Germanic *wers-izon- (source also of Old Saxon wirs, Old Norse verri, Swedish värre, Old Frisian wirra, Old High German wirsiro, Gothic wairsiza "worse"), comparative of PIE *wers- (1) "to confuse, mix up" (source also of Old High German werra "strife," Old Saxon werran "to entangle, compound;" see war (n.)). Used as a comparative of bad, evil, ill or as the opposite of better. The adverb is Old English wyrs; the noun is Old English wyrsa. Phrase for better or for worse is attested from late 14c. (for bet, for wers); to change for the worse is recorded from c. 1400.
worst (adj.)
Old English wyrresta, from Proto-Germanic *wers-ista- (source also of Old Saxon wirsista, Old Norse verstr, Old Frisian wersta, Old High German wirsisto), superlative of PIE *wers- (1) "to confuse, mix up" (see war (n.)). Phrase in the worst way (1839) is from American English sense of "most severely." The adverb is Old English wyrst; the noun, "that which is most evil or bad," is from late 14c.
bad-ass (n.)
also badass, "tough guy," 1950s U.S. slang, from bad (adj.) + ass (n.2).
badder (adj.)
obsolete or colloquial comparative of bad (adj.), common 14c.-18c.
baddest (adj.)
obsolete or colloquial superlative of bad (adj.), common 14c.-18c.
baddish (adj.)
"rather bad," 1755, from bad (adj.) + -ish.
baddy (n.)
"bad man, criminal, disreputable person," 1937, from bad (adj.) + -y (3).
badlands (n.)
"arid, highly eroded regions of the upper midwestern U.S.," 1850, from bad (adj.) + land (n.). Translating French Canadian Mauvaises Terres, a trapper's word, in reference to the difficulty of traversing them. Applied to urban districts of crime and vice since 1892 (originally with reference to Chicago).
badly (adv.)
c. 1300, "unluckily;" late 14c., "wickedly, evilly; poorly, inadequately," from bad (adj.) + -ly (2). By 1814 as "incorrectly;" meaning "very much" is by 1849, American English.