A Word Game from Oxford Dictionaries.com website!
Do you know your contronyms from your homonyms or your antonyms? Translators are often confronted to these words and when faced to the task of translating them in their native language, the context in which there are found will be crucial at the time of translating it so it cannot be overlooked!
Contronyms are word that can take two (or more) opposite meanings; e.g. fast means “moving quickly” or “fixed firmly in place”, overlook means “to watch over carefully” or “to fail to notice”. Also called contranym, contronym, antilogy, enantiodrome, Janus word, two-faced words.
Here is a little quiz taken from the Oxford Dictionaries website:
Can you identify these contradictory words?
1. To spray with powder or remove dust from.
2. Sanctified or damned.
3. Open to everybody or open to a restricted number of people.
4. Not good or very good.
5. Add to or remove from.
6. To open or shut.
7. Move gracefully or move clumsily.
8. To stick together or split apart.
9. A duty to notice things or a failure to notice things.
10. Remaining or departed.
11. That moves quickly or that does not move.
12. Very enthusiastic about something or very annoyed at it.
13. A three word phrase which means ‘to like more’ or ‘to like less’.
14. Acceptance and approval or disapproval and punishment.
15. A two-word phrase meaning either ‘working’ or ‘refusing to work’.
16. A two-word phrase meaning either ‘definite’ or ‘not possible’.
17. A two-word phrase meaning a small leap or a massive leap.
18. A two-word phrase meaning to stop something and to start something.