Jewish World Review August 1, 2002 / 23 Menachem-Av, 5762

Richard Lederer

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A pouchful of synonyms

Track down a few "joeys" -- words contained within other words -- to get a jump on JWR's word maven. | Being a marsupial, the female kangaroo carries her young in her pouch. Kangaroo words do the same thing: Within their letters they conceal a smaller word that means the same as the fully grown word. Buried inside a catacomb --- is a tomb. Look inside myself, and you'll find me.

The smaller synonym I call a joey, the name of a kangaroo's offspring. Lederer's law mandates that the letters of the joey must appear in the right order, but not entirely adjacent. That is, like a kangaroo novice, each joey word must take at least one hop.

Although we find a story --- history, art --- a cartoon, actual --- factual, rim --- perimeter, is --- exist, toxic --- intoxicate, joy in enjoyment, late --- belated, blot --- blotch, and nth --- umpteenth, they are not true kangaroos because all the letters in each joey are adjacent.

Uncover the 50 miniature synonyms tucked away in each of the kangaroo words that are about to hop across your screen.

01. appropriate
02. astound
03. barren
04. bedraggled
05. blossom
06. clue
07. complemented
08. curtail
09. destruction
10. devilishly
11. discourteous
12. displeasure
13. entwined
14. equitable
15. evacuate
16. exhilaration
17. exorcise

18. expurgated
19. fabrication
20. fatigue
21. healthier
22. himself
23. incapability
24. indolent
25. instructor
26. irritated
27. joviality
28. latest
29. market
30. matches
31. nestled
32. nourished
33. obligated
34. pinioned
35. postured
36. prosecute
37. quiescent
38. rapscallion
39. regulates
40. respite
41. salvage
42. satiated
43. scion
44. slithered
45. stockings
46. strives
47. supervisor
48. transgression
49. trustworthy
50. variegated

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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.


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