Which Joe gave his name to ‘sloppy joes’? We look at five interesting sandwiches and their lexical origins.
A word with two opposite meanings, e.g. sanction (which can mean both ‘a penalty for disobeying a law’ and ‘official permission or approval for an action’).
- ‘For my part, I try to avoid words that lead to confusion like this; that's why I proscribe the usage of contranyms.’
- ‘In the special case of contronyms, the polysemous terms contain two opposite meanings.’
- ‘Using a contronym requires the listener's knowing which of its meanings applies.’
- ‘Certainly, many of these contronyms are part of idiomatic expressions.’
- ‘I'm not sure if this would be a pure contranym because the two phrases don't necessarily oppose each other.’
1960s: blend of contra- and -onym, on the pattern of synonym and antonym.
We take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks.
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, discover surprising and intriguing language facts from around the globe.
The definitions of ‘buddy’ and ‘bro’ in the OED have recently been revised. We explore their history and increase in popularity.