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Word Wednesday Fun: Antipodes

The Antipodes

The Antipodes is often used by us British to describe those “kith and kinfolk” dwelling in Australia or New Zealand. I had occasion to use it today in a freelance article.

It was one of those moments when the word sprang into my mind and as a precaution I checked its meaning. I was correct and it was the right word in the context that I was writing.

What surprised me, and on reflection I fail to understand why I was surprised, was reading the literal meaning of the noun antipode. I was so used to hearing “the Antipodes” used to describe Australia and New Zealand that I had become impervious to any other meaning.

Following the usual pattern, the Merriam-Webster definition first followed by the Urban Dictionary.


noun an·ti·pode \ˈan-tə-ˌpōd\
Definition of antipode
Popularity: Bottom 50% of words
plural an·tip·o·des play \an-ˈti-pə-ˌdēz\
1 : the parts of the earth diametrically opposite —usually used in plural —often used of Australia and New Zealand as contrasted to the western hemisphere
2 : the exact opposite or contrary
an-ˌti-pə-ˈdē-ən\ adjective or noun

Examples of antipode

<my jock brother is an antipode to my bookworm sister>

Origin of antipode

Middle English antipodes, plural, persons dwelling at opposite points on the globe, from Latin, from Greek, from plural of antipod-, antipous with feet opposite, from anti- + pod-, pous foot — more at foot

First Known Use: 1549

opposite, antithesis, contrary, counter, negative, obverse, reverse
Related Words
negation; antonym; counterpoint; converse, inverse, mirror image
Near Antonyms
synonym; analogue (or analog), counterpart; carbon copy, copy, duplicate, replica

Now for the often hilarious Urban Dictionary definition but it’s a little left field this time –


A combo technique attack spell from the video game Chrono Trigger developed by Squaresoft(now Square-Enix) utilizing Lucca’s Fire magic and Marle’s Ice magic. The spell has three variations (Antipode, Antipode 2, and Antipode 3) Antipode 3 being the strongest.
Lucca and Marle just cast Antipode!
by samuisamu December 01, 2008

Disappointing by the normal standards!

However, the latest comment on “antipodes” at M-W made me chuckle –
Howard Ralph · Liberty, South Carolina
“I am reminded of the crags, the boundless expanses of plain, the luminous skies and seas of that Other World which lies at the self-conscious mind’s antipodes.” ~ Aldous Huxley, Collected Essays
Like · Reply · Jan 14, 2016 2:08pm

Could it have been that Mr. Ralph was experiencing a personal enlightenment? Or, perhaps a flashback 🙂 It’s all reminiscent of my writing about my forthcoming book.


I still seek guest contributors for the Word Wednesday Fun series. The nice Mr. Hubermann at the Daily Post section of asked me to set out the guidelines. In fact, here is what he wrote –

I’d be happy to add your blogging event to our events listing page at The Daily Post, however we request that all events feature a page on the host’s site explaining the goals and guidelines of the event (something brief and straightforward is perfectly fine). If you decide to create such a page, let me know and I’ll go ahead and publish the listing.

Therefore, in order to comply here are the goals and guidelines –

The goals are to have fun with words in the English language as the title of the series suggests. It makes writers and readers think about words, their meaning, origins, associated synonyms and antonyms and improves vocabulary.

The guidelines are simple and straightforward and though aimed at WordPress bloggers anyone (with or without a blog) is welcome to contribute.

  1.  Choose a word that has an entry in both the Merriam-Webster and Urban Dictionary. The aim is fun so please bear that in mind when making the choice.
  2. Submit the choice to me via email at including  200 – 500 words to accompany the dictionary entries. See a   previous post here as an example.
  3. Include your name for attribution purposes and your blog URL if you have a blog.
  4. The deadline for submissions is midnight Monday EST which is 5 a.m. Tuesday GMT or 1 p.m. Tuesday local time here in the Philippines. Publication will be scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesdays Philippines time.

There is no requirement to enclose the entries from the dictionaries as I will take care of that.

Full attribution will be given to the author of the post and links will be inserted by me in the event you provide me with a valid URL.  That will ensure pingbacks are facilitated.

You may also provide me with your Twitter handle and I will tweet the post when published.  The post will also be published on my Stephen Bentley – Writer Facebook Page and I ask that you as author share it from there. Social share buttons are available on this blog and I also ask that you share your contribution when published.

Thank you and I look forward to your contributions.


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