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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:21 am

• synonym •

Pronunciation: sin-ê-nim • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A word with a meaning identical or nearly identical to that of another words: couch and sofa are synonyms, as are faucet and spigot.

Notes: The family of synonym includes the noun, synonymy, and two adjectives: synonymic and the much more popular synonymous [sê-non-ê-mês]. Remember that is isn't a sin to use a synonym and that should help you spell it correctly.

In Play: This 'nym is the most popular of all and is widely used metaphorically: "New Monia is a synonym for healthy living far from the crowded city." It is so popular, in fact, most people already know how to pronounce the adjective. I am sure you have heard advertisements similar to this: "The restaurant at Eaton Place is synonymous with fine dining at expectable prices."

Word History: This word is yet another that came to Middle English down the by-now-familiar Greek-Latin-French chute. It originates in Greek sunonymos "synonymous", comprising syn (sym-, syl-) "(together) with, same" + our old friend onyma "name". Syn is assumed to come from an original root like *ksun "with", for Latin has a preposition con (com, col-, cor-, etc.) with the same meaning. Russian and other Slavic languages have a related preposition, s(o) "(together) with", which is also used as a prefix in words like sputnik "fellow traveler" and soviet "council". Need more 'nyms? We have pages of them here.
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Postby Slava » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:54 pm

Gee, it only took me 3 and a half years to notice that the last word in this post is meant to be a link. Here. I guess I shouldn't feel that bad, though, as no one else seems to have caught it, either.

Now, to resurrect the old line, what's the synonym for synonym?
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Perry Lassiter
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:46 pm

Writers are supposed to be adept at synonyms in order not to repeat words too close together. Question: why is the Greek letter upsilon so often written in English with a Y? In Greek it looks just like a low case u.

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Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:41 am

Perry: I believe lower case Greek letters were intended to be written with a pen or brush, while the upper case letters were intended to be chiseled in stone. You can see the same thing in the Roman U being sometimes written as a V. Where did you see an upper case upsilon that is not written Y? In my limited experience, that is the only way I have seen it. The lower case upsilon resembles a u.

Slava: There is no synonym for synonym. So let’s bury the old line.

If you constantly search for synonyms when writing or talking, you may have monologophobia.
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