The word: busybody.
The situation: in the past few months, I've heard the word used differently than what I understood it to mean. I grew up thinking that a busybody was nearly a synonym for someone who is nosey — or the neighborhood gossiper.
This differs from what I've heard lately from acquaintances, friends and strangers. Their usage seems to be more a literal translation of the words, say, "one who keeps their body busy — or rarely stays idle." (Used in a sentence: When Mr. Smith sold the classic car he restored, I doubted he would give up the hobby because he's always been a busybody.)
(See what the Free Online Dictionary has to say about the word here.)
Discussion: is our generation changing the definition of this word? It's happened with other words so it could happen again. Wikipedia tells me that the evolution of word usage — usually to the point that the modern meaning is radically different from the original usage" is called semantic change.
Here's a semantic change example from Wikipedia. "Egregious originally described something that was remarkably good. The word is from the Latin egregius (outstanding) which is from e-, ex- (out of) + greg- or grex (flock). Now it means something that is remarkably bad or flagrant."
What do you think "busybody" means? Or what words irk you to hear used incorrectly?
p.s. I do enjoy English, grammar and general semantics but by no means always choose my words correctly...