Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Wed Jan 31 19:08:35 UTC 2001

--On Wednesday, January 31, 2001 1:45 pm -0500 Gregory {Greg} Downing
<gd2 at IS2.NYU.EDU> wrote:
> According to a website listing oronyms, Brandreth discusses the possible
> origin right in that book:
> Brandreth, Giles, _The Joy of Lex_, 1980, New York: William Morrow and
> Co., pp. 58-59 on who coined the word "oronym"
> Maybe someone has a copy handy, FWIW....

I do have a copy.  He doesn't say anything like "Let's call these things
'oronyms'", but just

"Oronyms are sentences that can be read in two ways with the same sound.
To inspire you to cook up some oronyms of your own, here are a dozen of my

So, it's unclear whether he really did coin it there or whether that
website just thinks he coined it because he popularized it.  There's
nothing in the style that marks it as a new word, and no indication of why
'oro' (which AHD4 lists as the Greek prefix for 'mountain'; unless the
coiner was mixing classical roots and meant this to be the Latin for


M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

More information about the Ads-l mailing list