I have a character in my novel who describes a creature's talon as "wicked sharp". My wife says this is something she would only hear in New England (and my character isn't from there). I'm from Colorado and have used this adjective all my life... But I also read a ton of Stephen King growing up so maybe I picked it up from him.

To be clear though, I would never say someone was "wicked smart", or "wicked fast"... I would only use it as an adjective when referring to something that also seems... Well, sort of malevolent, or wicked--like a creature's talon.

But maybe I'm just overloading / misusing the word?

2 Answers 2


You’re safe as long as you don’t start saying wicked shahhhp

The phrase wicked entered into general use in the 70s and 80s (in Colorado — where I went to High School.) It has subsequently gone that same way as phrases like cool beans and radical!

That said, I’ve heard the phrase wicked sharp, and probably even used it. Usually right after cutting myself on something I didn’t expect to cut me but that turned out to be sharper than a scalpel.

I believe that it is widely enough understood that it is not an exclusively New England phrase. I can’t thing of any others though. Wicked evil, perhaps. Though it is redundant.

The wicked smart, wicked good, wicked cold, those all are definitely phrases I’ve heard from Mainiacs


While it has a decidedly retro feel these days it is still a phraseology one hears used in New Zealand. While I can't speak to who would or wouldn't still use it within the US, it definitely isn't restricted in use to New England.

  • You used to come across 'wicked + adjective' formulations in UK (mainly English) street/casual talk in the 1990s, so, yes, dated. That [house music] track is wicked cool. Dec 12, 2021 at 13:41

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