Oxymoron – it’s a weird word for a weird part of English that combines two words that seem to mean the opposite.

The word itself is an oxymoron – it comes from two ancient Greek words: ‘oxys’ which means sharp or clever, and ‘moronos’ which means dull or stupid.

It’s not just writers and poets like Shakespeare who have used oxymorons to describe the, well, weirdness of life and add a sense of playfulness and humour (and sometimes sarcasm) to the language. We all find ourselves using oxymorons in our daily lives, as the diagram above illustrates.

Here are some more:
Act naturally
Yeah nah
Virtual reality
Old news
Pretty ugly

By having fun with words in this way and thinking about how and why we use oxymorons, our children become more aware of the language and expressive.

Seriously fun, eh?