Homographic homophonic antonyms

by

Dinosaur Comics are Awesome

Dinosaur Comics are Awesome

I first started thinking about this a while back when I saw a Dinosaur Comic on this subject.

Homographic homophonic antonyms are words that are spelled the same and pronounced the same but have opposite meanings.

The example in the attached comic is “dust,” but a quick Google search reveals others like “weather,” (enduring something or eroding something). I’ve found that most of the examples are kind of contrived, though.

  • “Out”—as in “the stars are out” vs “turn out the lights”—I guess, but that’s kind of stretching it.
  • “Fast”—as in “to run fast” vs “to hold fast”—ehh … I guess.

I think the reason I don’t like these is because they’re different parts of speech.

I thought of one this week that works pretty well, although I’m not sure if it counts, since it’s two words—”lucked out.” I’ve heard it used to mean both experiencing something fortunate or something unfortunate.

“Wow! You caught the ball at the baseball game! You really lucked out!” vs “They didn’t have any left by the time you got there? You really lucked out.”

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1781,
    title = {Homographic homophonic antonyms},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-05-18,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/05/18/homographic-homophonic-antonyms/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Homographic homophonic antonyms" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 18 May 2011. Web. 19 Jan 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/05/18/homographic-homophonic-antonyms/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, May 18). Homographic homophonic antonyms [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/05/18/homographic-homophonic-antonyms/

One response to “Homographic homophonic antonyms”

  1. John Baxter says:

    Raze and raise is the only pair I have seen anyone come up with. I’ve even heard it said that they are the only pair in the English language. It took me years with thus thought in the back of my mind but I finally thought of another pair of genuine Antonymic homophones. And they are…. (drumroll please)
    Rest and wrest. TYVM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Search

Tag bag

Recent comments

Old posts

All content © Benjamin Carlisle