Wednesday, 12 January 2011 10:04
My friend Gordon showed up again with more word fun—this time Janus words. Since it’s January, named after the Roman diety Janus—who faced both backward and forward, looking to the past and to the future—we’ll take Gordon at his words.
Janus words are self-antonyms, or contranyms. They're spelled the same. . . and pronounced the same, but they have opposite meanings.
Don't You Just ♥ Words?
Cleave — to stick together; to cut apart
Clip — to hold together; to cut off
Custom — the norm; unique
Dust — to remove dust; to lightly sprinkle
Fast — held firmly in place; moving quickly
Oversight — to watch carefully; not noticed
Quantum — tiny, in physics; very large, as in ”leap”
Sanction — to approve; a punitive action
Temper — to harden; to soften
This is just a smattering. There are lots more.
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