General English

  • adjective not used or not dirty
  • adjective new and different


  • adjective used for describing food that has been made recently, has been recently picked, killed or caught, or is not frozen or tinned


  • adjective excellent. A vogue term among teenagers in 1987 and 1988. Teenage argot is in constant need of new terms of approbation but this fairly obvious example (derived probably from its over-use in advertising hyperbole rather than its standard American colloquial sense of cheeky) was still in use after 2000.


Origin & History of “fresh”

Fresh is of Germanic origin, but in its present form reached English via French. Its ultimate source was the prehistoric Germanic adjective *friskaz, which also produced German frisch, Dutch vers, Swedish färsk, and possibly English frisk (16th c.). It was borrowed into the common source of the romance languages as *friscus, from which came French frais and Italian and Spanish fresco (the Italian form gave English fresco (16th c.), painting done on ‘fresh’ – that is, still wet – plaster, and alfresco (18th c.), literally ‘in the fresh air’). English acquired fresh from the Old French predecessor of frais, freis. The colloquial sense ‘making presumptuous sexual advances’, first recorded in the USA in the mid 19th century, probably owes much to German frech ‘cheeky’.