Others have already put together some amazing lists of words about words. Here are three that I think are exceptional:
- StartWright even made up their own word for words about words: “Nymomyms”. Here‘s their list.
- ScrollSeek has an extensive list also. I found at least a few that weren’t on other lists. Check it out.
- Ragan’s PR Daily has a list of only fourteen, but there’s a couple not on the other lists. It’s a fine list, especially if you don’t have time for the more exhaustive (pun intended) ones.
And here’s a sweet sampling for my fellow logophiles:
- 1. Ambigram—a word that can be turned upside down and still be read as the same word. Example: MOW or NOON (from Ragan’s “14 Words about Words”)
- 2. Antimetabole—a word or a phrase that is repeated in the opposite order in the next clause or phrase. Example: “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” (from Ragan’s 14)
- Antanaclasis: Repetition of a word whose meaning changes in the second instance. “Your argument is sound…all sound.” — Benjamin Franklin. (from ScrollSeek)
- Camouflanguage: Language that uses jargon, euphemisms, and other devices to hide the true meaning of what is being said. (from ScrollSeek)
- Epizeuxis: Repetition of a word with vehemence or emphasis. “Alone, alone, all all alone. Alone on a wide wide sea.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge. See: palilogy, ploce. (from ScrollSeek)
paranym a word whose meaning is altered to conceal evasion
(from StartWright; too bad they don’t give an example. I included it in my list of faves because I like the concept!)
babblative given to babbling; prattling, prating, loquacious
tmesis inserting a word in the
middle of another;separation of the parts of a compound word by one or more intervening
catachresis (n) 1: use of the wrong word for the context
2 : use of a forced and especially paradoxical figure of speech (as blind mouths)
(from StartWright; it’s an interesting concept!)
verbivore (n) lover of words
(from StartWright; maybe this would be better defined as a consumer of words?)
If you enjoyed these, you’re sure to find more bon-mots in the lists given above. Enjoy!