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Is there a word for words that make you do what they mean? For example: 'guffaw'

I just crack up every time I hear it

Can you lot help?
 
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Picture of jerry thomas
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Good question!!

Chuckle?

By the way, that's the first time I have seen "you lot." Maybe that will be the new second-person plural that the language has been lacking ever since the demise of "ye."
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Aren't you speaking of onomotopoeia?

As for "you lot," isn't that just the Brit equivalent of the Southern US "You all, " or "Y'all?"
 
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Welcome to wordcraft, Fluent in Lies! Smile Big Grin Wink Cool

How about a little info in your profile so that we can get to know you? For example, where do you live?

I think, Asa, we have discussed this before and that there is another word, besides "onomotopoeia" for this. One thing that has always frustrated me is that no reverse dictionary really works all that well. I never know how to find answers to questions like that.
 
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To return to the matter at hand, does anyone actually have an answer to his question? I'm pretty sure it ain't onomatopoeia.
 
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Onomatopoeia means using words that imitate the sound they denote, like clunk, cuckoo,or boom.

I can't think of a word for the meaning given by Fluent in Lies.

quote:
As for "you lot," isn't that just the Brit equivalent of the Southern US "You all, " or "Y'all?"
Pretty much.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Fluent in Lies asks the interesting question, "Is there a word for words that make you do what they mean? For example: 'guffaw' I just crack up every time I hear it."

Well, there's a term for words that are self-descriptive. For example, 'short' is a short word; 'noun' is a noun, and 'polysyllablabic' is polysyllabic. And similarly, there's a term for words that are the opposite of describing themselves: 'long' is not a long word.

What, you ask, are those terms? I leave that as an exercise for the reader. (Which means, of course, that I don't recall them.) But I suspect that those terms are just the whimsical playthings of those who like to play with such things.

PS: Welcome, fluent!
 
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Wordnerd:

Self-referential?

I've got to disappear offline for dinner in a moment or I'd check, but I think that's the phrase you mean. Still not what fluent is asking, though...


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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wordnerd, I think you might be looking for 'autonym', though I'm not sure. Something beginning with 'auto-'.
 
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Et voila:
autological
adj. - self-descriptive, or being a word that exemplifies what it means, e.g. "english" is english, "polysyllabic" is polysyllabic
 
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Guffaw does make me laugh sometimes. Shiver makes me shiver.

Yawn makes me sleepy.

No idea what it's called, though. Inspirational?


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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quote:
I can't think of a word for the meaning given by Fluent in Lies.

Still, I could swear that we've discussed that here. I have mentioned this a number of times, but I do wish there were a better reverse dictionary for questions like this. How is one supposed to find the answer to something like this?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Caterwauller:
Yawn makes me sleepy.

Power of suggestion. Here's an explanation I hadn't heard before.

Tinman
 
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Are ya sleepy, or are ya glad ta see me?

Amazing stuff again, Tinmeister. You da tinniest!


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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quote:
In discussing pathology I discovered that yawning and spontaneous ejaculation were mentioned concomitantly in terminal rabies.


Ya-ha.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
quote:
I can't think of a word for the meaning given by Fluent in Lies.

Still, I could swear that we've discussed that here. I have mentioned this a number of times, but I do wish there were a better reverse dictionary for questions like this. How is one supposed to find the answer to something like this?


According to this site, the opposite of Autological is Heterological.

I've found a few more sites which relate to this subject. See here, or work through this.

I found this while googling for "autological opposite" and I include it here because it gave me a headache when I read it and I don't see why I should suffer on my own Smile! Besides which, from what I've seen of these Forums so far, someone here might actually be able to understand it Smile.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Dianthus,
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Dianthus:
I found this while googling for "autological opposite" and I include it here because it gave me a headache when I read it and I don't see why I should suffer on my own Smile! Besides which, from what I've seen of these Forums so far, someone here might actually be able to understand it Smile.


I'd like to help you but I was less than six lines in when my eyeballs exploded...
 
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quote:
I'd like to help you but I was less than six lines in when my eyeballs exploded...


It had a similar effect on me - with the addition of scrambling my few remaining brain cells Frown. I felt as though I'd just gone the mental equivalent of five rounds with Mike Tyson Frown.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Yes, that piece was mind-boggling.

However, I loved the Word Spy section that you posted, Dianthus. That was interesting. I have a question from it. Why is "misspelt" considered autological, while "misspelled" is heterological? I was not understanding all the heterological examples.

As for "yawn," Tinman, that was a good site. Still, I question the comment that the link between "yawn" and "hypoxia" (I might call it 'hypoxemia' because it is much easier to measure) has never been tested. I think it has, but I am not sure that I can find the sources. I think "sighing" has also been linked to hypoxemia. That's why oftentimes women sigh more often, involuntarily, during pregnacy.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
Yes, that piece was mind-boggling.


I'm glad I'm not alone in not being able to understand it. It makes me feel a lot better Smile!

quote:
However, I loved the Word Spy section that you posted, Dianthus. That was interesting. I have a question from it. Why is "misspelt" considered autological, while "misspelled" is heterological? I was not understanding all the heterological examples.


I suppose "misspelled" is considered to be the "wrong" spelling. Personally, I spell it both ways.

quote:
As for "yawn," Tinman, that was a good site. Still, I question the comment that the link between "yawn" and "hypoxia" (I might call it 'hypoxemia' because it is much easier to measure) has never been tested. I think it has, but I am not sure that I can find the sources. I think "sighing" has also been linked to hypoxemia. That's why oftentimes women sigh more often, involuntarily, during pregnacy.


It must be something else with yawning though, because sighing is not particularly contagious while yawning is. If someone is sighing, the people in his/her vicinity will probably not follow suit. If, however, that person starts yawning, then it will be a fair bet that most people within sight will also start doing so. Even reading about yawning will induce it. I know I'm tired (it's 01.33 here and I'm off to bed soon), but I've yawned four times just while typing this post and I only yawned about three times in the past two hours before I started going on about yawning (and I've yawned another two times while typing this last sentence!).
 
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