Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm trying to find a list of synonyms between various food types for a programming project I am working on with searching English language phrases. I was originally going to ask this on Stack Overflow, but this question wasn't necessarily related to programming.

In the list I'm looking for, I'd like to be able to know the synonyms and hyponyms for food types. For example:

  • Synonym: sandwich — sub
  • Hyponyms: Mexican — taco, burrito; fruit — orange, apple, banana

Are there any lists that exist that might help bootstrap my efforts?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by simchona, Matt Эллен, FumbleFingers, kiamlaluno, Mitch Jun 1 '12 at 0:11

Questions on English Language & Usage Stack Exchange are expected to relate to English language and usage within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1  
Have a go with the OneLook reverse dictionary –  Matt Эллен May 23 '12 at 9:01
    
There is no such thing as a "one-way synonym". The term you are looking for is hyponym. I've updated the question accordingly. –  RegDwigнt May 23 '12 at 9:06
    
Princeton Wordnet will be your best resource - wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/… –  Vigrond May 27 at 13:09

1 Answer 1

Good luck with this one.

When you look up a word on the website Wordnik, the bottom of the page lists various synonyms for the word. I just did this for sandwich, with interesting results.

First, they (correctly) don't list submarine as a synonym for sandwich, but as a hyponym. In a similar vain, orange and apple aren't listed as synonyms or hyponyms for fruit, but as words that are found in a reverse dictionary lookup.

Although it would take a lot of work, this Wordnik feature could prove helpful for your efforts. As to how you could restrict your culling to words related to food, you could always start with the Wordnik entry for food – that might make a good "root node". Both fruit and sandwich are listed there, under Words that are found in the same context; so is taco. And check out what delectable words you find when you look up mexican, and see what words are tagged!

share|improve this answer
    
However, there is almost no semantic area with more regional and sociolinguistic lexical variation than that of food, particularly popular food, most especially snacks and local specialties. When one travels to a place where a foreign language is spoken, dictionaries are famously useless for decoding menus, since everything goes by a local name. As J.R. say, good luck. –  John Lawler May 23 '12 at 13:53

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.