Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Antilogies are words that have a secondary meaning that is the opposite to their primary one.  This words confound and confuse.  And sometimes amuse.  Here are some of these.

Bag (it): Capture it; (slang) discard it

Below par : Inferior; superior (golf score)

Blown away : (We were): Crushed; ( US colloq.) overjoyed

Boned : Containing bones (e.g., corset stays); without bones (e.g., serving fish)

Buckle (v.): Fasten; collapse

Charterer : Provider; user

Cite : Praise; condemn

Cleave : Chop apart; stick together

Commencement : Beginning; end (of college education)

Finish (v.): Perfect (e.g., furniture); destroy (e.g., finish off)

Fix : Repair; (colloq.) destroy (e.g., “I'll fix him”)

Garnish : Add (e.g., parsley to food); take away (from salary)

Historic : Past; present (“This is a historic moment”)

In charge of : ( U.S. ) managing; ( U.K. ) managed by
Knockout : Collapse; (colloq.) triumph

Late : New (e.g., model); defunct (e.g., spouse)

Liberal : ( U.S. ) in favor of government intervention; (elsewhere) against government intervention

Marketing : Selling (business); buying (household)

Maximum : The most, without limit; no more than a limit

Minimum (notably, commission or order): Least possible; no less than

Moot : (1) Under consideration; not under consideration; (2) Undecided; (law) decided

Overlook : Observe; fail to observe

Overwhelmed : Horrified; delighted

Oversight : Supervision; failure to supervise

Ravel : Entangle; disentangle

Renter : Landlord; tenant

Spare : Excess (e.g., time); meager

Spoil (verb): overindulge; become rotten

Stay : Halt; continue (e.g., the course)

Strike (verb): Hit; (labor) stop acting

Table (parliamentary): Bring up for discussion; defer discussing

Temper : Harden (e.g., steel); soften (e.g., justice with mercy)

Trim : Cut down; embellish (e.g., a turkey or Christmas tree)

Unbending : Rigid; easing off from rigidity

Vegetate : Grow; stagnate

Wicked : Deplorable; (colloq.) admirable (e.g., a wicked serve)

Wind up : Prepare to start (pitches and watches); prepare to stop (companies)

You can't be too… (e.g., thin): You should be as thin as possible; don't be excessively thin


Mike said...

This list is wicked.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Those examples are funny.

Hell Hound said...

Very entertaining.

Bilbo said...

Neat list. It reminds one of some of George Carlin's examples of odd word juxtapositions, such as "jumbo shrimp," and "military intelligence."