A form of reduplication where the vowel in each duplicated word is changed. In English, the vowel order is almost always I-A-O for tripled words (as in "ding dang dong," "bish bash bosh" or "Fing Fang Foom"). With any pair of words, the first vowel is almost always I, while the second is either A or O (as in "crisscross" or "bric-a-brac"). Reordering the vowels (as in "knack-knick") will make a reduplication sound bizarre to English speakers' ears. Compare with rhyming reduplication, shm-reduplication.
A word that reads the same when turned upside down. Example: SWIMS. Ambigrams can created by clever use of calligraphic curves.
A word that is the opposite of another word. Examples: BIG is an antonym of SMALL. NEAR is an antonym of FAR.
A word that describes itself. Also autological word. Examples: POLYSYLLABIC, WORD, PRONOUNCEABLE.
A word that can be capitalized to change its meaning (and sometimes pronunciation). Examples: China and china, Polish and polish.
A form of vernacular code or euphemism from the East end of London in the 19th century, where a target word is rhymed with a pair of words, and the rhymed word is potentially dropped from the phrase, leaving the first (non-rhyming) word in the pair to indicate the target word. Examples: "Let's have a butcher's" (butcher's hook = look), "I'll take the apples and pears" (stairs).
A word that is its own opposite. Also auto-antonym. Examples: EXECUTE can mean to start something (as a plan), or to end it (as a person). LEFT can mean departed, or remaining.
A word that has entirely fallen out of general use, but remains viable as part of an idiom. Examples: to and fro, in high dudgeon.
A word that has one spelling, but different pronunciations and meanings. Examples: BOW (of a ship) and BOW (tie), DOES (acts) and DOES (female deer).
A misheard word or phrase, often in a song lyric (and often to humourous effect). Examples: "'Scuse me, while I kiss this guy" (kiss the sky), "Hold me closer, Tony Danza" (tiny dancer).
A recently-coined word or phrase, or a new usage of an established word or phrase.
A word that imitates a sound. Examples: BANG, CRASH, VROOM.
A word that appears to mean one thing, but actually means something quite different (or even the opposite). Examples: ENERVATED means weakened, not energized. INFLAMMABLE means flammable, not incombustible.
A word or phrase for part of something that is used to represent the whole thing. Examples: "wheels" referring to an entire vehicle, or "mouths to feed" referring to hungry people.
A slip of the tongue where letters from two words in a phrase are swapped, often to humourous effect. Named for the Oxford don and minister William Archibald Spooner, who frequently made the error. Examples: "The Lord is a shoving leopard" (loving shepherd), "know your blows" (blow your nose).
A word with the same meaning as another word, but with a different spelling. Example: HUGE and GIGANTIC.
Words which, often due to a certain prefix or suffix, appear as though they should have an antonym, but they don't. Examples: "disdain" vs "dain," "bashful" vs "bashless," "deceitful" vs "deceitless."
A word game invented by Lewis Carroll (of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland fame) where the goal is to move from one word to another by a series of one-letter transformations, where each transformation must produce a valid word. Example: SAIL to RUIN can be accomplished like so: SAIL->RAIL->RAIN->RUIN.