Taking this example,

Everyday is an adjective that means commonplace, ordinary, or normal.

Every day means "each day."

or numerous other similar words which have a different meaning when extra spaces are added, is there a particular term to describe these?

E.g. psychotherapist and psycho the rapist have two very different meanings, maybe and may be, or between and be tween.

I know that some of these words can be homophones, homographs, or homonyms, but the closest I can find is something like Capitonym, which describes words that share the same spelling but have different meanings when capitalised e.g. polish/Polish, march/March.

Is there a particular term to describe words which look the same, but change meaning (and perhaps pronunciation) when a space is added?

  • 1
    I would tend to say that when a word is broken by a space, it doesn't change meaning because it is no longer the same word.
    – SW4
    Jul 31 '14 at 14:12
  • That's true, but I suppose in that context then I'm looking for the antonym of portmanteau? (Which a quick Google search shows nothing for: wordhippo.com/what-is/the-opposite-of/portmanteau.html )
    – Ronan
    Jul 31 '14 at 14:21
  • 1
    not quite an antonym, typically a portmanteau omits characters from the parent words to produce progeny- here, a space is simply being introduced. E.g., adding a space to 'spork' you get 'sp' and 'ork', not 'spoon' and 'fork'
    – SW4
    Jul 31 '14 at 14:25
  • God knows what I'm look ing for then.
    – Ronan
    Jul 31 '14 at 14:26
  • 2
    A Ronanmanteau no doubt! I'm not aware of there being a word for what you seek I'm afraid
    – SW4
    Jul 31 '14 at 14:29

You cited a secondary meaning of everyday but the primary meaning is exactly the same as every day (with a space), according to Random House and World English dictionaries. Therefore these are synonyms.

Psycho has no meaning as a word except as a shortened, slang version of psychopath/psychopathic. However as a prefix psycho- means exactly the same as in the word psychotherapy. Actually it is the same.

Therapist is a combination of therapy and the suffix -ist. Therapy is derived from Neo-Latin but ultimately Greek. It has a different meaning because its origination came from very different words than the origination of the and rapist.

Let's look at another example - the word shock.

On the one hand the meaning of a violent blow or impact comes from the French word choc coming into the language in the 1500s. On the other hand the meaning of sheaves of grain, later also applied to hair, came into the language from the Low German word schok. So here you don't even need to add a space and you have two entirely different meanings with the same spelling. That's called a homograph. These words also sound exactly the same but have different meanings. So they are also homonyms.

You are adding a space so the spellings are not exactly the same (because of the space) so none of your examples can properly be homographs but they are can be homophones (with same sound but different spellings) or homonyms.

But in the example of therapist and the rapist these do not have the same spelling, sound, or meaning. The just have similar, but slightly different, spellings. Just like cold and cord, or cold and could.

Cold and cord are what is called orthographic neighbors or substitution neighbors. But I think your examples are not quite these because you have added spaces, and the relevant example is cold/could. These words are addition/deletion neighbors.

Any word that you add spaces to to create a phrase would cause the two to be addition/deletion neighbors.

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