Bemused (or bemuse depending on tense) is a word that can often cause, well bemusement, since it’s original definition and the more common usage today differ. Originally bemused only meant to be perplexed or confused, however somewhere along the line in the 20th century it started to be used as a synonym for the word amused. While amused certainly got it’s start meaning to be in a muse (or lost in thought – very close to bemused) it has long meant to be entertained.
I suppose that the two meanings of bemused could actually merge a bit since I know that oftentimes when I am befuddled by something it is in a rather wry manner and truth be told, I learned to use the word bemuse to mean confused in a slightly humorous manner. What do you think and how do you use the term bemused?
Namaste ~ Ella
** If there’s a word you’d like to see added to the Word Nerd roster, please feel free to drop me a line or suggest it in the comments – I love feedback and recommendations!