of Important Terms
Be prepared to DEFINE or IDENTIFY each of
the following terms (based on Richard Lederer's Word Circus). Where
appropriate, give a linguistic example.
grammagram: (pg. 4) Words that when they are pronounced, consist
entirely of letter sounds. Ex.: SA = essay
homophone: (pg. 7) Words that are
pronounced alike but are spelled differently and with different meanings. Ex.:
heteronyms: (pg. 17) words with the same spelling as other
words with different pronunciations and meanings. Ex.: content (adj.) and
capitonym: (pg. 23) a word that changes pronunciation and meaning when it is capitalized. Ex.
Colon and colon.
2anagram: (pg. 28) the rearrangement of all the letters in a
familiar word, phrase, or name to form another word, phrase, or name. Ex. shore
aptagram: (pg. 32) a rearrangement of all the letters in a familiar word,
phrase, or name to form anothe rword phrase, or name which has a meaningful
arrangment to the original. Ex. aboard/abroad
antigram: (pg. 41) The converse of the aptagram is the antigram, in
which a word or phrase gets rejuggled into another word or phrase that bears a
meaning opposite to that of the base. Ex. : teacher/cheater
looping anagrams (or looper): (pg. 44) words in which the first letter can be
moved from frontword to backword to produce another word. Ex.: evil/vile.
palindrome: (pg. 49) A word, a word row, a sentence, or a longer
statement that communicates the same message when the letters of which it is
composed are read in reverse order. Ex.: "A man, a plan, a canal,
semordnilap: (pg. 68) While a palindromic word conveys the same
message left to right and right to left, a semordnipal becomes a new word when
spelled in reverse order. Ex.: bats/stab.
charade word: (pg. 92) a word in which a larger word can be
divided into smaller parts that are themselves words. Ex.: mustache / must ache
beheadment: (pg 110) The chopping off of the first letter of a
word to create a second word. Examples: bone/one, cache/ache,
curtailments: (pg. 115) Words in which the last letter or
letters may be removed and still remain words (examples: brass/bass,
kangaroo words: (pf. 128) words which conceal within their letters
smaller versions of themselves. Ex.: clue and cue in disclosure.
acrobat words: (pg. 144) Words in which the change of a single
letter causes a dramatic shift in the meaning. Ex.: poison/prison
(pg. 158) switching letters and syllables between words to create slips
of the tongue; i.e., bartender and tar bender, tollbooth and bowl tooth,
ghost town and toast gown
abstemious words: (pg. 164). Word
which lack any major vowel. "With tongue firmly planted in cheek,
some call these vowel-less words “abstemious” words, a facetious
label since abstemious (along with facetious) is fraught with every
major vowel, and in sequence. Ex.: by, cry, cyst, etc.
words: (pg. 166) Words which are composed entirely of letters which read the
same way in a mirror. Ex.: mouth-to-mouth.
pangram: (pg. 169) A
sentence which contains every letter in the alphabet at least
once. The shortest known pangram in English is "Mr. Jock, TV
quiz Ph.D, bags few lynx." (26 letters!)
pyramid word: A word
that contains one occurrence of one letter, two occurrences of a second
letter, and so on. Ex. In "banana"
there are one b, two n’s, and three a’s.
191) a single word in which no letter of the alphabet appears more than
once. The longest example in English is "uncopyrightable."
acrostic: (pg. 198) a composition, usually a poem, in which the first
letter of each line spells out a hidden word or message.
lipogram: (pg. 199)
a statement or poem from which a key letter has been excluded
logology: (pg. 210) the study of words
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