6 April 2016

10 Words You Didn’t Know Had Opposites

If you’ve been keeping up with our 500 Words series over on the HaggardHawks YouTube channel, you’ll know that recently we’ve been expanding your vocabulary with lists of words for fools and nincompoops, words you won’t believe exist, and words from Victorian slang. And this week, we’re adding even more words to your wordhoard with a list of 10 Words You Didn’t Know Had Opposites.

Words like these crop up every now and then over on HaggardHawks, with recent examples including tautegory, the opposite of an allegory, and dysangelical, the opposite of evangelical. But what about the opposite of the placebo effect? Or the opposite of postponing something? And what exactly are jamais-vu, dysphoria and eustress? The answers are all here...

One term that didn’t make the final cut in the video, however, is one of our personal favourite opposites-you’ve-never-heard-of:

Stockholm syndrome is of course a curious psychological phenomenon in which a hostage, or group of hostages, gains sympathy for their captors. It takes its name from a bank robbery that took place in Stockholm in 1973, which led to a five-day siege between police and back robber Janne Olsson. Happily, the siege ended without any of the hostages being seriously injured.

The opposite of Stockholm syndrome is Lima syndrome, which, as the tweet above explains, refers to a situation in which the captors develop sympathy for their hostages. And just like Stockholm syndrome, it too comes from an actual hostage-taking: in 1996, fourteen members of a Peruvian militia group called Túpac Amaru stormed the Japanese embassy in Lima, and held more than 600 of the Japanese ambassador’s guests captive. Within a matter of hours, however, more than half of the hostages had been released, and over the days that followed another 300 more were steadily set free as the captors began to empathize with their hostages. The siege was eventually brought to an end 126 days after it had started. 

  1. Great post - fascinating discussion of the curious world of "feaguing" - which I recently ran into in 'Forgotten English' by Jeffrey Kacirk.
    I fell like getting in touch with Rafa Beitez and suggesting that the Newcastle team might just have a chance of staying up if someone subjects them to a proper course of Premier Feaguing....

  2. "I feel like getting in touch with Rafa Benitez...." no edit button?