Today I learned what kangaroo words are, and they're freaking awesome. The term refers to a word that contains its synonym in alphabetical order hidden inside it. For example, masculine contains the word male, blossom contains bloom, chicken contains hen, fabrication contains fiction, and much, much more. A comprehensive list of these words can be found at this Wikipedia page. A lot of these words are formed because they share an etymological root, so some sticklers mandate that a proper kangaroo word needs not be related to its "joey" word. Yep, it's called a "joey", just like a kangaroo baby is called a"joey"- that metaphor of carrying a smaller version of itself is how the term got applied. Equally interesting, if not more so, are "anti-kangaroo" words, which contain their antonym (such as comunicative, pest, and convent). Language is so awesome!!!
Adam Aleksic is a 220-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard College in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd