Jewish World Review August 8, 2002 / 30 Menachem-Av, 5762

Richard Lederer

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Hop up to the kangaroo words

Hop up to Part Two of our language maven's kangaroo words | Last week, I introduced a game of kangaroo words. Within the letters of these marsupial words nestles (and nests!) a small word, or joey, that means the same as the fully grown word. The letters of the joey must be in proper order but not entirely adjacent. Balled up inside your stockings  are your socks. Playing with kangaroo words, your mind will blossom and, hence, bloom.

Among the most satisfying of kangaroo words are those that conceal multiple joeys. Open up a container and you get a can and a tin. When you have feasted, you ate and have fed. When you deteriorate, you rot and die. Brooding inside loneliness are loss and oneness.

Within the boundaries of a municipality sit city and unity,while a community includes county and city, as well as the solids unit and unity. A chariot is both a car and a cart.

Perambulate yields ramble, within which hides amble -- almost a joey within a joey but for the solidity of amble (and you'll recall from my last column that the letters of the joey should not be entirely adjacent).

I have sighted two supreme multi-generational kangaroo words:

*expurgated, which carries the kangaroo/joey purged, which itself totes the joey pure;

*frangible, which conceals the kangaroo/joey fragile, tucked within which is the joey frail.

I have also spotted two kangaroos that carry a joey and its antonym:

*encourage transports urge and enrage;

*the verb feast carries eat and fast.

Now we come to another rare species, in which two or more kangaroos give birth to the same joey. From both lighted and illuminated glow lit. In both observe and spectate we can see see.

Postured and positioned yield posed.

Exhilaration and exultation larger forms of elation.

Things Brobdingnagian and lumbering are big.

Joined and confederated become one.

Transgressions, perversions and misdoings are kinds of sins.

Hiding in nougat and neurotic are two different kind of nuts. We eat when we feast and breakfast. Things purged and pasteurized are pure. Unison, junction, conjunction, unification, and communication all make a union. To be stealthy, slippery and slinky is to be sly. To broadcast bombast is to boast a boast.

Lies and dead seem to me to boast the greatest number of marsupial mothers. Lies reposes in falsities, falsifies, fallacies, calumnies, hyperbolizes, plagiarizes and reclines. Dead sleeps in deceased, departed, deactivated, decayed, decapitated, disintegrated and desiccated.

Expose the miniature synonym tucked away in each of the 50 kangaroo words that are about to hop across this screen. Then hop to this special challenge:

1. accurate
2. arena
3. barricaded
4. because
5. chicken
6. chocolate
7. combination
8. compadres
9. contaminate
10. deliberated
11. determine
12. disappointed
13. disputation
14. equitable
15. evidenced
16. exhausted

18. foundation
19. flounder
20. flourishing
21. fulminate
22. honorable
23. hostelry
24. impair
25. incommunicative
26. inheritor
27. knapsack
28. lonely
29. masculine
30. misinterpret
31. petrochemical
32. plagiarist
33. playfellow
35. prematurely
36. rampage
37. recapitulate
38. rendition
39. revolution
40. rotund
41. secure
42. separated
43. split
44. splotch
45. steamy
46. stricken
47. struggled
48. superfluous
49. tolerate
50. twitch

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JWR contributor Richard Lederer is a language maven. More than a million of his books, which have been Book-of-the-Month Club and Literary Guild alternate selections, are in print. He is the host of "A Way With Words," on KPBS, San Diego Public Radio, and a regular guest on weekend "All Things Considered." He was awarded the Golden Gavel for 2002 by Toastmasters International. Comment by clicking here.


08/01/02: A pouchful of synonyms
07/11/02: Poli-Tickle Speeches
06/27/02: Suppository questions
06/20/02: George Orwell is looking at you
06/06/02: Jest for the health of it
05/30/02: It is truly astonishing what havoc students can wreak on the chronicles of the human race
05/16/02: A bilingual pun is twice the fun!
05/09/02: What's in a president's name?
05/03/02: Slang as it is slung
04/25/02: Abstemious words
04/19/02: This Riddle Isn't Letter-Perfect

© 2002, Richard Lederer