Top 12 words that mean two opposite things (French, this wonderful language)

The French language is full of jokes. If there is a bunch of words that we use but do not exist or words that sound vulgar when they are not, there are also what are called enantiosemias. We owe the expression to Roland Barthes, but we will be satisfied with “not very practical words” to qualify them. In sum, those words whose meanings can have an opposite meaning. Contrary to homonyms where the context can make it possible to clarify the situation (we rarely dye ourselves in worm), the not very practical word is capable of generating misunderstandings. Here are some examples.

1. Ciao

The Italians invented the Commedia dell’arte. Doors slamming, same actors playing several roles, one stays, the other leaves. So, to find your way around, as we no longer know who left the stage or backstage, we will say a single word to greet the audience: ciao.

If the French had the good taste to change the Hello meaning goodbye in have a good day for greater clarity, they also had the presence of mind to import the ciao into their home, just to add a bit of linguistic complexity.

2. Host

The host was waiting for the other, his host. As the hood had ceased to function, for lack of fuel, he had made the decision not to cook the monkfish. The host explained it to his host: they would not eat, but, as he was floating outside, the host and his host suffered from an infection of the glottis which prevented them from swallowing anyway. The host nodded: his host took the words out of his mouth.

3. Learn

When you teach something to others, others learn it too. Yes, that makes two opposite senses: to transmit, and then to acquire. I’m telling you, no doubt.

Top 12 words that mean two opposite things French this

4. Untouchable

Word not very practical, especially in India. When a government figure, a declared untouchable, a kind of repellent to judges, travels to Bombay, he meets his untouchable counterparts, placed on the outskirts of society, who wear rags as their only costumes. Imagine the misunderstanding, not to mention the language barrier. To this add the film Untouchables and it is guaranteed linguistic chaos.

5. Unblock

When my laptop unlocks, I lock it for a moment, then I unlock it. Try to explain this sentence to a foreign person who is trying to integrate and then ask yourself about the real welcoming faculty of a country like France when you carry around such a language.

Top 12 words that mean two opposite things French this
Picture credits: Topito

6. Cons

“Women, I am against; quite against. Sacha Guitry, who was not the last for the pun, summed up the essence of the impractical word character of the term vs, because if we are against something, we don’t want to be against it, see, I who am against hunger in the world, I have no desire to stick to death from hunger in life .

7. Give thanks

“The entire HR team at Croquettas thanks you for everything you did for her at the copier and thanks you accordingly. “It’s quite confusing to be fired and thanked at the same time, it’s a bit as if “I want to make love with you” also meant “I want you to get out of Kathmandu”.

8. Why

Why, why does it appear in this ranking?

Why is an impractical word, which is why it appears in this ranking.

9. Person

The person was gone and there was no one left. It was someone that person, not just anyone, although anyone would have been enough for there to be someone. But there was no one there. The person was there to see it. So there would have been someone?

If you’re fed up with nobody around, we’ve got the best items for loneliness.

10. More

” – Do you want more ? – No, I don’t want any more. »

Absolutely no logical sense in this kind of exchange which shows that we have a real communication problem.

11. Rent

Typical sentence of a Parisian tenant: “I rent an apartment and it is expensive”.

Typical phrase of a Parisian owner: “I rent an apartment and it is expensive”.

It’s up to you to choose the category that satisfies you the most.

Top 10 differences between parents on the left and parents
Picture credits: Topito

12. Consult

As much as the patient consults his doctor, the doctor consults his patient. It’s give and take and yet there is one who is a little more useful to the other.

Top 12 words that mean two opposite things French this