ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • The English Language

The Oxymoron

Updated on December 19, 2017
TheMAS profile image

The MAS is a driven individual having the right capabilities to learn and educate by writing through experiences and knowledge.


Oxymorons | Source

Brief Background

Many are the words we speak, write and use in our daily lives but fail to remember the pertinent synonyms to that specific expression. It is sometimes frustrating for individuals around the world who know the English language but get wedged at words erratically. The English Language has billions of words available to explore, many of which we are certainly unacquainted with due to a multitude of reasoning that subsists (not to highlight our ignorance in this regard) just to say. Apparently, there are a lot of words that have a very interesting meaning veiled behind them. It’s not just the pronunciation but the connotation itself that needs to be explored. Our diction has a lot of room for obvious improvements regardless of what our minds are capable of doing in entirety.

These hidden gems should be explored and promoted amongst every person that lives and breathe and has an understanding of the language. I can go on and write about the English language for days without getting any short of words but the main focus of my article is to put emphasis on one such word that is less known to the native and bilinguals around the world. That word is – OXYMORON!


Oxymorons allow us to be creative in our descriptions. Undeniably, there are a number of definitions of the word that are available to us through different mediums altogether. The best of which is the one I believe has the most comprehensible and quite frankly the simplest understanding of them all which I’d be quoting hereunder. The main idea of this article is to familiarize the reader with the word. Even though people around the world repeatedly use these words in their regular conversations while communicating but most of them do not know what this expression of words actually called. Oxymorons aren't the only exception to this common practice, there are a lot of words present whose meaning is still a mystery for a huge population altogether. This article explains the true and understandable meaning of the word Oxymoron and how the word is used while I'll be quoting some examples for the reader to relate and understand with simplicity while indulging and grasping the meaning of the word purposefully.

About its Origin - Defining Oxymoron

The word oxymoron is a combination of two universally used words 'oxy', that means 'sharp', and 'moron' that means 'dull', taken from the Greek language.

Consequently, an oxymoron is a phrase in which two words of contradictory meanings are brought together. It is a figure of speech in which seemingly opposing terms appear in unification. It is composed of two or more words that seem to be the contrasting, or actually are the opposite of each other.

Nonetheless, it is one of the most epic and profound words in the English language that are commonly used by people all around the world without them knowing about its true derivation. This is somewhat a dilemma in its own that people don’t bother to focus on what they are about to say which gives rise to a number of practical instances where ignorance comes into play. There needs to be an urge of understanding that relates to knowledge and familiarity while being able to the express with the perfect choice of words.

Its Use

Oxymorons are usually used in our daily conversations also while we communicate with our family, friends and peers every now and then. This is one of those commonly used expressions that predominantly relate to a specified and sometimes sarcastically oriented sentence. People often use them in their sentences to explain their point of view and expressions in a much more defined and arbitrary manner. These expressions categorically identify two differently phased words that are contrary to one another in terms of meaning while we use them. Oxymorons have a very contextual meaning hidden behind them that shows two contrasting words being used together to explain the idea of the situation. Its use can be thoroughly understood by the examples that I have listed in the next portion of this article.


Oxymoron is such a word that ironically circulates in an expression that is contrasting by all means whether it relates to the people, places, or things. We inadvertently use such an expression almost every now and then.

Some of the most famously used Oxymoron words are listed as under:

  • Cleary misunderstood.
  • Act naturally.
  • Exact estimate.
  • Found missing.
  • Small crowd.
  • Fully empty.
  • Pretty ugly.
  • Seriously funny.
  • Only choice.
  • Original copies.
  • Honest politician.
  • Politically correct.
  • Living dead.
  • Seriously funny.
  • Known secret.
  • Orderly confusion.
  • Deafening silence.
  • Confirmed rumor.
  • Same difference.
  • Big baby.
  • Controlled chaos.
  • Irregular Pattern.
  • Bad luck.
  • Jumbo shrimp.
  • Organized mess.
  • Awfully nice.
  • (And the mother of all). Happily Married! (No offence. I’m only kidding).

This is one I read in some meme which I saw on my Facebook feed. Quite frankly that post is one inspiration behind the inscription of this article. I had loved the word and its true essence of developing the aptness to promulgation. This word is one of those words in the English language that is being used by people all over the world every now and then but people don’t actually know what it is actually called.

Example: "Oxymoron".
Example: "Oxymoron".

Oxymoron Quotes

Oxymorons are repeatedly used in our routine conversations and they're being used by people all around the world since centuries now. Many great leaders, philosophers, philanthropists, writers, artists, politicians, celebrities and famous personalities have quoted some of the most memorable words that are still remembered by the world and also quoted by people who remember these famously said quotations. There are so many instances where these famous quotes come into play in the most fitting manner. They are so well said that they can be applied on modern day situations quite well. Undoubtedly, there are various quotes and sayings that are excessively identifying Oxymorons eminently in them.

Some of these famously said quotes are mentioned as follows:

"A joke is a very serious thing".

— Winston Churchill

"The term 'serious actor' is a kind of an oxymoron, isn't it? Like 'Republican party' and 'Airplane food'".

— Johnny Depp

"If I could drop dead right now, I'd be the happiest man alive".

— Samuel Goldwyn

"An honest politician is an Oxymoron".

— Mark Twain


The main idea behind this article is to explain the usage and understanding of the word Oxymoron, which is proficiently used quite often than not in our daily conversations without us knowing about them quite aptly in progression. This article sheds the light of wisdom on the darkness of ignorance while highlighting the meaning of the word and to fathom the likeliness of the word itself. Oxymoron has a very interesting and outspoken existence in our regular dialogues as this is a commonly used expression. Hope y’all read and enjoyed the article while understanding the true purpose that is to know about the word that we already use in our routine conversations. I expect that you share the article with your friends and peers so that they may also know about the word as knowledge is light and seeking knowledge is wisdom.

That is all for now. Don’t forget to rate this article and comment below for suggestions & recommendations regarding this article. Also, do let me know about any other oxymoron words that you know in the comment capsule below besides do vote for the ones listed in the poll hereunder. Thanks for reading!


How frequently do you use Oxymorons?

See results

© 2017 Muhammad Ali


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • TheMAS profile image

      Muhammad Ali 3 months ago from Pakistan

      Thank you S Maree for the lovely comment. I am glad you liked this article. :)

    • profile image

      S Maree 6 months ago from North/Central Indiana

      Shucks, I wanted to give you five stars but either I am brilliantly stupid or the rating thingy isn't allowing it.

      Anyway . . . LOVE etymologies! Bravo! More! I am reminded that the Bard of Avon penned many oxymora. What first came to mind is (paraphrased) "cruel kindness". Now, whether or not Shakespeare himself invented the terms, as one of the "brave new world" of people enamored of their mother tongue, he did us the enormous favor of recording them for posterity.

      And you, Mr. Mas, are to be commended for keeping such terms alive and in the public mind! You are so correct that there is a richness, a veritable treasure trove of words we may draw from to enrich us!

      Let's not be cowed into using the current jargon to fit in. Rather, we have a gift that nearly all other languages lack; flexibility! Everyone should have, in addition to an unabridged dictionary, a good thesaurus. My dream is to be rich enough to own the Oxford English Dictionary and all goodies that come with it. If you don't know, look up the OED! If you love the English language it'll make you drool with desire!

      Hie thee to your public library and see if they have any dictionaries they are done with. I found my enormous Webster's being used as a (horrors!) doorstop! The librarians were happy to give it a loving home. Since then, I have purchased collegiate, foreign, and specialized dictionaries for pennies! Treasures!

      Time to stop waxing dithyrambic (even my spell checker has it underlined)! Don't rely on spell checkers. Get a real, honest-to goodness dictionary! OK, I'm off the soap box.

      Delightful article! Encore!