The antonym of antonym is synonym and the antonym of synonym is antonym,
but antonym has no synonym and synonym has no synonym.
In other words,
the word synonym has no synonym, but antonym is its antonym, and
the word antonym has no synonym, but synonym is its antonym.
This means that synonym’s antonym’s antonym is
the antonym of antonym’s antonym’s antonym.
Go And Syn No More
Anil’s discussion of self-synonymy reminded me of the following unusual relationships between SYNONYM and ANTONYM: the word SYNONYM has no synonym, but ANTONYM is its antonym, and the word ANTONYM has no synonym, but SYNONYM is its antonym. This means that SYNONYM’s antonym’s antonym is the antonym of ANTONYM’s antonym’s antonym.
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The secret of nym
by Phil Plait
So I was thinking about words recently, looking for a synonym of a word, when I realized something:
The antonym of “synonym” is “antonym”, and the antonym of “antonym” is “synonym”… but “synonym” has no synonym.
And by that, I mean a word that specifically is a synonym for “synonym”. Thesaurus.com, for example, listed the word “equivalent”, but that’s more generic; “synonym” refers specifically to words. Even synonym.com came up short:
Synonyms for synonym
Sorry, I could not find synonyms for ‘synonym’.
This strikes me as not just odd but also hilariously ironic. It’s like abbreviation being such a long word, or onomatopoeia sounding nothing like its meaning.
How can we not have another word for “synonym”? Are we that impoverished for words?
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