Bizarre

Bizarre

In current usage, the word "freak" is commonly used to refer to a person with something strikingly unusual about their appearance or behaviour. This usage dates from the so-called freak scene of the 1960s and 1970s.

Julia Pastrana, a woman of unusual appearance

An older usage refers to the physically deformed, or having extraordinary diseases and conditions, such as sideshow performers. This has fallen into disuse, except as a pejorative, and (among the performers of such shows) as jargon. "Freaks" of this kind can be classified into two groups: natural freaks and made freaks. A natural freak would usually refer to a genetic abnormality, while a made freak is a once normal person who experienced or initiated an alteration at some point in life (such as receiving surgical implants).

"Freak" continues to be used to describe genetic mutations in plants and animals, i.e. "freaks of nature." "Freak" can also be used in a verb form, and can mean: "to become stressed and upset". Usually, in this form, the word is followed by "out" to complete the phrase, "freaking out". However, this meaning and usage is usually considered slang. Adjectival forms include "freakish" as well as "freaky." The verb "freaking" (or, "freaking out") means "engaging in panicked or uncontrolled behavior"—for example, as the result of psychedelic drug use. "Freaking" may also be a minced oath used in place of "fucking," e.g. "Oh my freaking God!" The word is a homophone of "phreak" (referring to the illegal hacking of telephone systems), which it probably inspired.

'Freak' can also be seen being used as a surname, derived from French and Scottish heritage. Meaning, through interpretation 'keeper of the plains', the name is rarely seen but exists in some numbers. A notable carrier of the surname 'Freak' is Reece Freak, noted philanthropist and industrialist of Adelaide, South Australia.

It is also a term commonly used by African Americans in their music to refer to a woman who is willing to engage in casual sexual activity.

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Tags: Bizarre, Freak