Nice comes from the Latin word ‘nescius’ meaning ‘ignorant’ or ‘unaware’. It has had, probably the most pronounced change of meaning of any word. By the 13th century, it had become ‘nice’ in French and had taken on the slightly different meaning of ‘foolish’. In Britain in the early middle ages (often referred to as the dark ages) however, as attitudes towards knowledge changed the word began to mean ‘meek’, or ‘shy’. By the late middle ages, these qualities became revered as the idea of ‘respectability’ and ‘virtue’took precedent.