Did you know that the word oxymoron is itself an oxymoron?

The word means “a figure conjoining words or terms apparently contradictory so as to give point to the statement or expression,” such as “a little big”, “pretty ugly,” “deafening silence,” and so on. As a writer, I love a good oxymoron–fresh ones can add an unexpected twist to the narrative and hence paint the picture with color.

But we may not all realize that the word, in Latin, is oxy, “sharp” + moron, “stupid.” Literally “smart/stupid.” Funny, huh?

Oxymoron appeared in English around 1650 with that meaning and hasn’t changed over time. Still fun to say, fun to use, and fun to realize is an example of itself. 😉

Print Friendly, PDF & Email