What should words be called that can be separated into two or more parts, each of which means the same as the word as a whole?

I know there are at least three words in English that fit this description. I remember taxicab (= taxi = cab) and oleomargarine (= oleo = margarine), but I keep forgetting the third one. Jetplane does not count because not all planes are jetplanes.

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    oleo and margarine are both just shortenings for a product which was originally called oleomargarine. If you count all shortenings, there might be a lot more examples. The same seems to be the case for taxicab. – skymningen Jan 19 '15 at 10:25
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    Also: Cocktail. – npst Jan 19 '15 at 10:55
  • It's a bit like an appositional compound but where the two lexemes would have the same meaning. – user98955 Jan 19 '15 at 11:49


Admittedly, some of those would more often be written with a hyphen (or even a space) to separate their component words.

  • The question was not asking for a list of such words, but "What should words be called that can be separated into two or more parts, each of which means the same as the word as a whole?" I'll make that clearer... – Andrew Leach Jan 19 '15 at 11:26
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    @AndrewLeach - Before Reg Dwight edited the question, the OP originally wrote: "I keep forgetting one, but I'll give the other two later (so you can have fun trying to figure them out)." Then he/she appended oleomargarine and taxicab as comments. I inferred from this that the OP was open to other suggestions, especially since the original version only asked what such words should be called in the title. So I answered that part of the question to which I was able to respond, before other people started changing the OP's own wording. – Erik Kowal Jan 19 '15 at 11:38
  • I warned you The Foxhunter had been released. // Is there a term for answering edited questions before they've actually been edited? – Edwin Ashworth Jan 19 '15 at 11:40
  • @EdwinAshworth - I'd have to call that preplying. – Erik Kowal Jan 19 '15 at 11:50
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    @GoodA.M. - But the definition of "tape" as "record" is simply an abbreviation of "tape-record". Similarly "tin". – Hot Licks Jan 21 '15 at 17:24

According to the definition given by The Gale Group

tautology may be used for even a single word AB where A = B:

needless repetition of a concept in word or phrase; redundancy or pleonasm. Also tautologism.

Quagmire is perhaps the traditional example.

Of course, this definition doesn't require that A = B = AB.

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