Boston Definition of "Wicked" Imported to Australia?

As anyone who has lived in Boston for anything of time knows, when we use the word "wicked!" (wik'-kid) it means something on the order of "great" or "awesome" or "terrific."

That was a wicked ride, a wicked movie, a wicked party; you get my drift.  So that said, perhaps this is what the new Ordinary in Australia means in his interview with The Catholic Weekly when speaking of the Holy Ghost's sense of humor:

Fr Harry Entwistle says his conversion from Anglican to the Catholic faith can’t be explained by anything other than the Holy Spirit’s “wicked sense of humour”.

As the inaugural head of the personal ordinariate of Our Lady of the South­ern Cross, a jurisdiction for former Anglicans in Australia, he said it’s “an awesome responsibility because it means that I have to lay the foundations of the Ordinariate to enable it to grow and flourish and be an evangelistic tool for the Church”.

“Apart from the legalities of erecting the Ordinariate, we’re getting enormous help from the Catholic Bishops Conference to set that up, it does mean with a shortage of few clergy we will have initially we have got to get the message out to others that we exist,” he said.

“Although we exist as an erected body that doesn’t mean that everybody knows about us. We will be hoping to encourage the Catholic bishops to spread the word. It will be a slow growth because groups will need to form. There is a group already forming in Melbourne, and hopefully soon in South Australia, and a group exists in Sydney. So it’s a question of now that the Ordinariate exists then other people may come and enquire about what it means, and whether they can be part of it.”

 The rest here.

Author: Deborah Gyapong

Deborah Gyapong is a member of the Sodality of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( in Ottawa, a former parish of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Traditional Anglican Communion) whose members were received individually and corporately into the Roman Catholic Church on April 15, 2012 by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast at St. Patrick’s Basilica. Under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, the community will celebrate an approved Anglican Use liturgy and hopes to soon join with other sodalities across Canada to form the Canadian Deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter under Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary. As we wait for our priest(s) to be ordained as Catholic priests, God willing, Archbishop Prendergast will provide priests to celebrate our Sunday Eucharist according to the Anglican Use. Deborah is a journalist who covers religion and politics in Canada’s national capital, writing primarily for Roman Catholic newspapers since 2004. Her novel The Defilers, published in 2006, was not a best seller, alas. She spent 17 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in news and current affairs, including 12 years as a television producer.

15 thoughts on “Boston Definition of "Wicked" Imported to Australia?”

  1. That's the way I took it Deborah. Left a comment to that effect over on Father Stephen Smuts blog. They never got the updated slang dictionary in South Africa.
    I knew some people would get all bent out of shape but that's the way of the world. Like 'my bad' man.
    I wish things would return to a more civilized time as well. I remember when I was in Junior High School (now called Middle School I guess), and I was telling my friends that I went to see the movie "THE VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED". When I said it I got all flushed, turned beet red and thought GOD would strike me dead! I was so embarrassed, not because I turned red but because I said a bad word even in its proper contexts! Just goes to show how times have changed.

  2. Remember, we Aussies both know American slang (from your imported TV shows and so forth) and have our own…

    Not to mention, of course, our own sly sense of humour, which can confuse North Americans – such as Cardinal Pell, who, when asked about why some men elected Pope in past centuries turned out to be terrible wicked men, said "Sometimes the Holy Spirit gets it wrong"!

  3. Really, I would think that in this use 'wicked' is abbreviated from 'wickedly funny'. It used to be common to hear or to read that someone "has a wicked(ly funny) sense of humour", suggesting a pointedness or accuracy to it – a bit like 'devastatingly funny'. It's neither the 'Boston definition', nor the classic sense of 'evil'.

    1. Yes you are correct TACIT. We still here in Australia say that someone has a wicked sense of humour which means more of a playful mischievous and surprising funny sense of houmour.

      A man of Harry's age is unlikely to use wicked in your Boston sense eventhough its use was common in Australia a few years ago. Only used by those under 45 or people who have never matured.

  4. Will the all out efforts to spread the word on the Ordinariate of OLSC eventually include a website? At the moment I cannot locate one.

  5. EPMS – There will be a website and is in the process of being created. The Ordinariate is only 15 days old and currently has one priest who happens to be a parish priest as well as the Ordinary. Patience will need to be exercised.

    The prize for the correct interpretation of 'wicked' goes to TACit!

    1. Yes, this is a usage which has nothing to do with the 21st century and everything to do with the early 20th. We could imagine Ronald Knox and University College using "wicked" to mean "rather naughty" (and not with a sexual connotation). These days, no one regards "naughty" as suggesting much more than overly-playful, although originally it was a much more serious word.

  6. I think "wicked" was generic teen slang for "good" 20 or so years ago, not restricted to the Hub. Today, the usage of choice seems to be "sick" (that's a sick car, sick movie, etc.)

  7. Not long ago I met somebody who works for the CDF. The subject of the Ordinariate came up. He did not express the slightest trace of disloyalty to the Holy Father's decision to establish Ordinariates but he observed that one of the considerations that prompted it was the prospect of enormous numbers wanting to be reconciled with the Church. Rome had been led to believe, on the basis of signatories on a petition, that hundreds of orthodox Anglican bishops and priests and thousands of the laity were poised to leave.
    The resulting numbers was so small that Mgr Burnham later expressed serious disappointment.

    Rome has to keep faith with Papal directives but at present there is head-scratching about the future of these Ordinariates. The numbers really are insignifcant by Catholic standards. I explained that Anglo-Catholic expectations invariably fell short of the mark. After the denouement in the Church of England of 1992 several Anglo-Catholic clerics implied that thousands of their confreres were expected to leave but, in the end, the number was a little over 400. However, thousands of laity were indeed reconciled with the Church. The main bulk of Anglo-Catholics had already left before Anglicanorum Caetibus was promulgated. I fear that in this case the Holy Father was unintentionally misled.

    Anybody can sign a petition but, ultimately, few are prepared to act on it.

Leave a Reply