Negligibly Nervy

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.

Chloe with the letter N

Whoo hoo, we've now crossed over into the second half of the A to Z Challenge! I'm excited about that, but I'm less excited about the contronym choices for N. There are only three of them, and there really are no winners in the bunch.

One of the options is nonplussed, which was actually a #15tt word over a year ago. It means surprised, confused or bewildered, but it has come to mean unperturbed in North American English. So similar to inflammable, it is only a contronym because using it incorrectly has become so common, and I really don't want such a poseur contronym to be the featured one for the day.
 
The next option is no question. While I have no objection to the contronym being a phrase rather than a word, the two possible definitions provided on the contronym list are 'definite' or 'not possible.' While I have heard no question used a lot for the 'definite' meaning, I can't think of a single time I've ever heard it used to mean 'not possible.' I've heard out of the question used to mean 'not possible,' but not no question. Am I just becoming forgetful in my old age and overlooking the obvious? If you've heard it used that way, I'd appreciate you leaving me an example sentence in the comments! 
 
That really only left me with the last option to be the featured contronym for N: nervy.
 
Nervy - showing or expressive of calm courage
 
~ or ~
 
Nervy - excitable, jumpy, nervous (chiefly British)
 
So even this one is a stretch since the opposing definition is primarily used on the other side of the pond. I prefer my contronyms to have opposite meanings where both are in wide-spread regular use, but it looks like nervy is the 'best' of the lot. 
 
Kurt walks back and forth past Timmy's house, his dog snarling and barking at the end of its leash. With each pass, he lets the dog pull him closer to the driveway. He laughs as Timmy gets more and more nervy, backing up and refusing to make eye contact.
 
Hearing the commotion, Timmy's sister Emma hurries outside and marches to the end of the driveway. She stares at Kurt until he looks down pretending to adjust the leash in his hand. Then she stares at the dog until the only noise it makes is a slight whimper. Kurt and his dog slink away, looking for a new target . . . one without a nervy big sister.
Nervy Kids
 
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of any ā€˜Nā€™ contronyms that aren't on the list? How Nifty is Chloe with her letter N?
 

Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Comments

Mina B.'s picture

I had no clue about nervy.  I feel like I should have known that.  I checked out the list of them though.  Some I knew others I didn't. :(

Elise Fallson's picture

I don't think I've ever used the word nervy, but I will now! (;

 

Patricia Lynne's picture

Interesting contranyme.

Deniz's picture

What an awesome idea for the A to Z! Love today's example, too.

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Mina - Yeah, I wasn't familiar with the 'jumpy' definition.

Elise - Hooray for vocab building! 

Patricia - Thanks!

Deniz - Thanks, I'm having fun with them.

Jeanette Andersen's picture

I love your blog and looks like your doing great on the A to Z Challenge.  Keep up the great work.

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thanks! I'm having fun with the contronyms.

xiaojun's picture

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