Contranyms: Crazy Contradictions

Downhill chart

Sales went downhill (bad)

A contranym is a word that can mean the opposite of itself. Sometimes they are called “antagonyms”. Let’s look at few:

Oversight (watchful control or something not noticed)

  • The scholastic oversight committee made sure that no one cheated on the tests.
  • Damn! A minor oversight lead to the stove not being turned off and the house burnt down.
All downhill from here

It is all downhill from here (good)!

Fast (moving rapidly or fixed in position)

  • A car with an eight-cylinder engine is fast!
  • Oh dear! I used super glue on my shoes and now I am stuck fast to the floor.

Citation (award for good behavior or a penalty for bad behavior)

  • The fireman received a citation from the mayor for saving the baby who fell in to the well.
  • That parking citation came with a 100.00 fine.

Bound  (moving towards or unable to move)

  • The train was New York bound.
  • My girdle bound my torso so tight I was unable to sit.

Buckle– (to pull together or to fall apart)

  • Her scarf pulled the entire outfit together.
  • His knees buckled when he heard that had won the lottery.

Come on! We’re sure you can think of some more contranyms! Send them to us!

Mirth in a Box is the place to go for fun and unusual gifts and gift ideas.

Thanks Zildgar and Danroc for the Flickr photos!

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