Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Janus Words

Janus words are words with two opposite meanings. Such words are named after the Roman god Janus who has two faces that look in opposite directions.

Examples of Janus words are:

"sanction," which means approved by an authority, and otherwise condemned;
"cleave," which can mean to cling to or to separate;
"screen," which can mean to review or display or to hide or shield from view, and
"trim," which can mean to remove things or add things.


Source: Grammar Girl


  1. Always informative and entertaining. Cute photo.

    Thoughts in Progress

  2. I love words like this, but I never knew they were called Janus words. Thanks. Love the graphic. And, I have an award for you at my blog.

    Under the Tiki Hut

  3. Thanks I didn't know that's what they were called. Love the picture.

  4. Brilliant Janus samples!

    And I love the kitty - he/she ROCKS!

    Take care

  5. Mason, Carol, Christine, Karen and Old Kitty: Thank you! I'm so glad that you all now know what "those" words are called!

    Thank you so much for the award, Carol! ♥

    Karen you are most welcome! ♥

    Happy you all like the kitty graphic too!

  6. Oh another new term. I knew there were words like that and I should have guessed there was a special name for them and now I know!

  7. I work with several Janus People at work. Does that count? Really enjoy your cat pictures. Have a great Wednesday, Roland

  8. Rocking kitty! And I've heard of another meaning for cleave. It involves naked people.

  9. Holly It's always a pleasure *seeing* you here!

    Roland: LOL! Yes, I think they count!

    Alex: What a surprise that the meaning you've heard had to do with naked people... LOL!


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