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Autoantonyms

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Autoantonyms

Postby Sylvia » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:46 am

Autoantonyms

http://www.fun-with-words.com/nym_autoantonyms.html

Autoantonyms are words that are the opposite of themselves!

Below is a list of many such words, and their associated opposite (or near-opposite) meanings. See the bottom of the page for an explanation of how such contradictory meanings can come about.

adumbrate
verb • to clarify
• to cast a shadow over

aught
noun • anything
• nothing

bill
noun • invoice (e.g. in a restaurant)
• money; banknote

bolt
verb • to secure in place
• to dash away suddenly

bound
adj./verb • restrained (e.g. by rope)
• to spring; leap

buckle
verb • to fasten
• to come undone; give way; collapse

cleave
verb • to adhere; stick together
• to cut apart; divide

clip
verb • to fasten together; hold tightly
• to cut apart; cut off (e.g. with shears)

comprise
verb • to contain; include
• to be composed of; consist of

custom
adjective • usual; normal
• special; unique

dust
verb • to remove fine particles from (e.g. when cleaning)
• to sprinkle fine particles onto

fast
adverb • fixed firmly in place
• moving quickly; speedy

fine
adjective • just meets minimum standards; satisfactory
• considerably better than average; excellent

give out
verb • to produce; distribute
• to stop producing; cease functioning

handicap
noun/verb • advantage (e.g. in sport)
• disadvantage; disability

hold up
verb • to support; cope
• to hinder; delay

impregnable
adjective • impossible to enter (e.g. of a fortress)
• able to be impregnated

left
verb • departed from
• remaining

let
verb • to allow; grant permission
• to prevent (e.g. "without let or hindrance")

literally
adverb • actually; really
• figuratively; virtually

model
noun • archetype; example: copy; replica

moot
adjective • debatable; arguable
• academic; irrelevant

overlook
verb • to examine; watch over
• to fail to notice; miss

oversight
noun • watchful care; supervision
• overlooking; omission

peer
noun • an equal; fellow (e.g. classmate)
• a nobleman; person of higher rank

put
adj./verb • to begin to move hurriedly
• stationary (e.g. "stay put")

put out
verb • to generate; produce
• to extinguish; put an end to

puzzle
verb • to pose a problem
• to solve a problem

quantum
adjective • very small (e.g. in Physics)
• very large (e.g. "quantum leap")

ravel
verb • to tangle; complicate
• to disentangle; separate

rent
verb • to lend; lease out
• to borrow; hire

resign
verb • to quit; give up
• to sign up again

root
verb • to remove completely
• to become firmly established

sanction
verb/noun • to endorse; authorize
• a punitive action

sanguine
adjective • murderous
• cheerfully optimistic

scan
verb • to examine closely
• to glance at hastily

screen
verb • to view; show
• to conceal; shield

seed
verb • to remove seeds from
• to add seeds to

set
verb • to fix in place
• to flow; move on

shank
noun • latter part of a period of time
• early part of a period of time

skin
verb • to cover with a skin
• to remove the skin

splice
verb • to join together
• to cut in two

strike
verb • to miss (e.g. in baseball)
• to hit; collide with

table
verb • to propose; suggest
• to postpone; shelve

temper
verb • to soften; mollify
• to strengthen (e.g. a metal)

trim
verb • to cut pieces off (e.g. fingernails)
• to add to; ornament

weather
verb • to withstand; stand up to
• to wear away

wind up
verb • to start; prepare
• to end; conclude


The Origin of Autoantonyms
Bob Fradkin explains how one of the major classes of auto-antonym comes about:

Dust is part of a series of noun-verb conversions related to coverings of things. If the noun gives a covering that is natural to the thing, then the verb means remove the covering. If the covering is imposed, the verb means put the covering on.

So you get shell an egg, peel a banana…

Isn't this fascinating? I missed you guys. Oh yeah I'm married now too. :thumbsup:
Sylvia
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Posts: 344
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:29 pm

Re: Autoantonyms

Postby William » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:35 pm

Sylvia,

Why do I drive on a Parkway, but park on a Driveway?

Why do trucks transport materials, calling it "Shipping," while materials transported by ship is called "Cargo?"

If flowers are upright, why are they residing in a "Flower bed?"

Thanks for those interesting, and fun Autoantonyms.

Please post more material as interesting and enjoyable as this.
User avatar
William
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Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 3:03 pm

Re: Autoantonyms

Postby Sylvia » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:28 pm

Thanks William! :)

I love this stuff and those Carlinisms too. I'll try to find more.

Oh more good news is that I was accepted into a grant program for Health Information Technology. Maybe I can get a real job someday!

:thumbsup:
Sylvia
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:29 pm


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