One for the literati.

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  • One for the literati.
  • tymbian
    Member

    Is there a word that descrpibes the use of say word A to describe word B but word A has the opposite meaning…I’ll explain..

    Doctor asks..” how are you finding your new diet “?

    Teenage patient..” it’s phat “

    Or

    Waiter to teen ” how’s your food? “

    Teen ” Sick ” ( means awesome )

    I thought of these two today whilst preparing tea. I’m sure there must be others but can’t think of any, and these two are modern variants that would of only come about the last few years.

    tymbian
    Member
    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    It’s almost like a yoof version of irony. But at some point the word actually may start to literally mean its opposite rather than it’s original meaning, at which point it’ll be non ironic again. Not sure ‘phat’ is a good example though…

    eightyeight
    Member

    My best stab would be:

    “antonymous”

    Though I don’t think that really fits the bill. Sorry

    Kevevs
    Member

    Bad. As in Bad-meaning-good. I dunno what the academic technical type term is for it tho. I’d be interested to know.

    Premier Icon portlyone
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    Kevevs
    Member

    Those new gold hope hubs are THE SH**!!

    well to be quite honest with you, you young rapscallion, I paid rather a large wad for these perfectly CNC milled British made hubs, and I think if they actually were “THE SH**” I would be putting them in a cellophane bag and disposing of them correctly in a Dog refuse bin in my local park. You are quite incorrect. GOOD DAY.

    “Not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good”

    Peter Piper (1986).
    Joseph “Run” Simmons & Darryl “D.M.C.” Matthews McDaniels

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    I don’t think your examples are particularly good OP (sorry but I can’t see anyone using the words in the contexts you describe), but with the classic Jacko use of “bad” to mean “good” that Kevev mentions I would say it’s idiomatic (although this doesn’t specifically apply to the use of opposites).

    Kevevs
    Member

    MuppetWrangler, you might have a point with the rappings and the hippity hoppings. I recall “phat” being a graffiti term for awesome big fat bubbly spraypainted letterforms that looked cool ie “phat” therefore “phat” = “cool”. Might be wrong though. Maybe the Phat beats came first.

    Describing your cock and balls as “your junk” would appear to be the opposite meaning to me. Mine are not junk in any shape or form, they are quite precious to me and in no way would I consider them to be disposable.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    I recall “phat” being a graffiti term for awesome big fat bubbly spraypainted letterforms that looked cool ie “phat” therefore “phat” = “cool”. Might be wrong though. Maybe the Phat beats came first.

    I don’t think you could ever really uncover the etymology of any of these words, a lot of them seem to have evolved almost organically. Either of these explanations could be true, or both of them or neither of them! Maybe “phat” refers to “fat booties”?

    Herman Shake
    Member

    Contra-adjective? Double speak?

    joemc
    Member

    Whilst not specifically applying to ‘yoof-speek’ examples above, both contranym and antagonym mean words with dual, and opposite meanings. Contranym is probably the most accurate for the examples given above.

    Dat iz well bad, innit?

    Kevevs
    Member

    cheers JoeMC. word

    edlong
    Member

    I don’t think you could ever really uncover the etymology of any of these words, a lot of them seem to have evolved almost organically.

    That pretty much describes the evolution of all language, over all time, everywhere, with words created by specific people on specific dates being very much the exception rather than the rule.

    Finding sources for etymologists these days isn’t the problem, it’s filtering them. Until quite recently only a very small educated elite committed anything to writing, these days anyone with a smartphone and a thumb is contributing to the evolution of the language, innit?

    EDIT: I’m liking eightyeight’s “antonymous” as an answer to the OP.

    EDIT EDIT: Although I prefer joemc’s “antagonym” actually, now that I’ve seen it.

    Spin
    Member

    would say it’s idiomatic

    I’d agree. The examples of the OP are not examples of a defined usage as phat is not only used to describe diet.

    Using contradictory terms in a figure of speech would most commonly be called oxymoron but I’m not sure that’s what the OP means.

    tymbian
    Member

    @zilog…you’re not really contributing to this thread are you?

    OP.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
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    lol, sorry, did you not like me pointing out the fact that your use of slang sounds very much like “uncool dad” trying to be “down with the kids”? 😆

    tymbian
    Member

    There you go again…ha ha. ( I won’t say lol )

    and that’s not what you pointed out and I’m bigger than that. Now let your mum have a go on the pc.

    edlong
    Member

    Only on here could a linguistics question turn into a fight.

    It’s a bit Newman / Baddiel (History Today) isn’t it?

    “You see that junk? That’s you, that is.”

    Kevevs
    Member

    *LIKES* thread. A lot of people say modern technology is dumbing down language, what with the yoof never actually writing anything down with a fountain pen and paper and putting it in an envelope with a wax seal and putting it in a letterbox etc. I am of the opinion that technology is really transforming language and giving people more access to communication than ever before. Everything is so much faster, and maybe our brains are evolving to keep up. Can’t wait till we get to the point where there is no technological or language barrier between communication (yes, I am a sci fi geek!)

    EDIT: Tymbian, Zilog’s right y’know. Those examples you quoted would never happen in real life. But I get what you mean though in the OP

    tymbian
    Member

    @Kevevs….we’re not going to be around to see it.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    that’s not what you pointed out and I’m bigger than that.

    You seem to have interpreted my original post as a slight against you? FWIW that was not my intention. Hugs all round.

    tymbian
    Member

    Hugs accepted.

    joemc
    Member

    Spin – an oxymoron is using two or more contradictory words together (‘army intelligence’ as the oft quoted example), rather than one word having numerous contradictory meanings, such as referring to someone ‘special’

    Spin
    Member

    an oxymoron is using two or more contradictory words together

    Is that not what I said?

    I was referring to the fact that the OP was juxtaposing words like phat and diet in a phrase.

    user-removed
    Member

    what with the yoof never actually writing anything down with a fountain pen

    I am also not going to add anything meaningful to the discussion and it looks like the OP’s curiosity has been satisfied, but I will say that technology (perusing this forum on my phone last night) led me to buy a couple of disposable fountain pens on eBay. Specifically the handwriting thread.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Auto-antonyms: ill communication.

    DickBarton
    Member

    you captured it visually very well…non-bike thread posted in bike thread…very good example…some would use the word ‘idiot’ but I’d go with ‘enlightened’.

    Rickos
    Member

    Holy thread resurrection, Batman!

    Came across this yesterday and it reminded me of this thread (well, the original question at least).

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/49834/14-words-are-their-own-opposites

    tymbian
    Member

    Good find Rickos..interesting read and some good examples.

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    non-bike thread posted in bike thread

    Soon fix that.

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