I’m searching for the term whereby the intended use of a word is opposite to its established meaning.

‘Doublespeak’ is not quite it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    Could you provide an example or two of what you mean? Jul 27, 2022 at 11:25
  • There is the sarcastic or ironic use of a word, when a person cruelly says say "That was really good" but means the opposite. But that's well covered at What exactly is verbal irony?. Jul 27, 2022 at 11:31
  • 1
    Sarcasm/irony might be the root of something like wicked or sick for "really good" but it's more likely to be young people's delight in perverse difference. An example or two in the question would be really helpful.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 27, 2022 at 11:45
  • I once heard a young lady describe a young gentleman as “so cool he’s hot”.
    – Peter
    Jul 27, 2022 at 13:18


Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.