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    Antonym analogies Essay

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    Antonyms have long been favourites of the readers of Word Ways, either as themselves (ODD–EVEN) or in disguise. In the latter case, they may be hidden in other word pairs such as in FATE–THINE, SHIN–SHOUT and BANDED–BORED where they occur at the beginnings, ends and in the middles of the word pairs respectively, the other letters remaining the same. In the August 1994 Kickshaws (page 169), Dave Morice listed 24 such word pairs in an item entitled Letter-Addition Opposites. Now I offer further examples and also extend the concept to include pairs of words in which the antonyms are split, appearing in 2 places in each of the two words, the other letters always remaining the same.

    My list includes both antonyms and near-antonyms. Most of them can be found in Chambers Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms ed. Martin H. Manser, 1993.

    Excluding certain proper names, most of the word pairs can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition. w2 = Webster’s Second Edition.

    Those examples which appear in WW94169 are asterisked*.

    EXCHANGING BEGINNINGS

    alls (also)–nones

    alteration–fixation

    asker–teller (one who counts money)

    bagde–Goodge (a name)

    bane–licensee

    barter–letter

    bested (placed)–worsted (a fine, smooth yarn)

    binds–frees (frieze)

    boomed (what the foghorn did)–slumped (in chair)

    bottomed (having;a bottom)–toped (toppled or fell over)

    boyling (boiling)–girling (a young salmon)

    breadwort (the knot grass)–waterwort (plants of genus Elatine)

    breaker (a small keg or flask–on a boat)–mender

    burdener–rider

    calmer–dinner

    calming–wilding (a crab-apple tree or Michael)

    clearing–fainting

    Cleary (a name)–dully

    closely–startly (apt to start, jump)

    comet–got*

    covered–striped

    dayly (dally)–nightly

    dived–soard (sward)

    dressed – striped

    Easter–wester (wind–w2)

    ebber (manifest, unconcealed)–flower

    emptying–fulling (the process of cleansing and thickening cloth by beating and washing)

    EXCHANGING ENDS

    Ada (a name)–adzed (cut with an adze)

    farm–fleg (a fright, scare)

    neart (be)–nescience

    rebless–recurse (to recur)

    scenter–sedge

    scold–sheat (a pig under one year old)

    scold–swarm

    scool (school)–swarm

    Adie (a name)–alive

    undies (under garments)–unlives (deprives of life)

    redress (reparation of a wrong)–restrip (w2)

    bedrop (to drop upon, cover or wet with drops)–behold

    pearly–plate*

    uneasy–unhard (soft)

    miseasy (miserably)–mistrying (trying wrongly)

    upend (to set something on its end)–upstart (someone who has suddenly risen in importance)

    center–cleave

    seven–slumpy

    sever–snever (narrow)

    infall (material that falls or has fallen)–inrise (to rise in opposition)

    forefeet (the front feet of a quadruped)–forehands (shots in tennis)

    afind (to find out)–alose (a fish)

    afoot (astir)–ahead

    refresh–retired

    unfriendly–unreserved (not put to one side)

    forgive (to pardon)–fortake (to take away)

    shave–slack

    shere (share)–sthere (steer = a young ox)

    chers (cheers)–chis (fastidious)

    phot (a unit in physics = one lux maintained for one second)–picy (a manoeuvre in piquet)

    sill–swell*

    spinner–spouter

    clad–class

    landlady (runs a Bed and Breakfast)–landman (a countryman, peasant)

    Roland (a name)–rosea (plant species name)

    flax–frigid

    underlay (for carpet)–understood

    cleave–clinger

    sleave (sleeve)–stake

    slender–sower

    underlie–understand

    overlie–overtruth (a statement in excess of the truth)

    clinger–crush

    sloath (sloth)–swilling

    alose (a fish)–awin (to win)

    slow–stall

    blower–braise

    slower–supper

    slowest–stop

    Romany–roone (roan)

    remiss–reobserve

    ostomy (type of operation)–ostoyour (soldier)

    smyth (smite v.; also a surname)–struth (strewth)

    gnew (past tense of gnaw)–gold

    snippy–swarm

    doff–don* (themselves antonyms)

    Dover–dunder (the dregs of cane juice used in the West Indies in the fermentation of rum)

    groover–grounder

    apeace (appease)–Awar (a member of the people of the North Caucasus)

    repure (to purify again)–revile (to use abusive language)

    squeer (squire)–swell

    unrest (disturbance)–unwork (to undo or detach from something)

    trough–twell (till)

    ALL POSSIBLE EXCHANGES

    The same pair of antonyms may occur in different places in different pairs of words, specifically at the beginning, the end or in the middle of words. Alternatively, the antonyms may be split and appear in two, corresponding, separate places in each word. Below, each different pair of antonyms appears in at least 3 of the 4 columns.

    ADDITIONAL SPLITS

    Here are some more examples of split antonym exchanges:

    (a) Beginning and End

    chame (a fissure)–whent (quaint)

    drey (a squirrel’s nest)–weet (to know)

    easily–tensile

    hale–shale

    heard–trail

    loess–Moore (a name)

    louse–mauke (maggot)

    pumill (pommel)–pumish (pumice)

    rinse–snag

    shafe (sheaf)–wheak (a squeak or whine) … weak in the sense of unguarded

    trender (a wool winder)–trough

    theorem–uores (journeys)

    treuce (truce)–wear

    (b) Beginning and Middle

    flinder (to break into fiinders or pieces)–sleeker

    fletcher (an arrow-maker)–slender

    (c) Middle and End

    ranted–roter (one who repeats by rote)

    minn (type of old Irish ornament)–mount

    (d) Beginning, Middle and End

    Here is a 3-way split pair of antonyms (‘these’ and ‘those’):

    threstle (trestle)–throstle (a thrush)

    ALTERNATIVE SPLITS

    The 2 words FARER (traveller) and NEARER offer a choice of 2 positions for the antonyms FAR and NEAR: FARER–NEARER and FARER–NEARER.

    There are, however, 2 words which go one stage further, offering a choice of 3 positions for the antonyms MAS (several mothers) and PAS (several fathers):

    MASSES–PASSES

    MASSES–PASSES

    MASSES–PASSES

    Both the above examples owe their existence to the presence in the words of repeated letters, R and S respectively.

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