Dictionary of English Capitonyms: Vocabulary Building

Manik Joshi
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What are “Capitonyms”?

[Capital- capital letter; -Onym: Name]
Capitonym is a word that changes its meaning (and sometimes pronunciation) based on whether or not it is capitalized.
Capitonym [singular] | Capitonyms [plural]
Capitonyms may be nouns, pronouns, verbs, or adjectives.

Characteristics of Capitonyms:
Same spelling except for capitalization
Different meaning when capitalized
Same or different pronunciation

Polish and polish
Polish: connected with Poland [adjective]
polish: to make a surface smooth and glossy [verb]

Piedmonts and piedmonts
Piedmont: a region of North West Italy (noun)
piedmont: a slope leading from the foot of mountains to a region of flat land (noun)

Traveler and traveler
Traveler: traveling people of Irish origin [noun]
traveler: a person who is traveling [noun]

Roman and roman
Roman: connected with the Rome
roman: the ordinary type of printing [adjective]

Rosemary and rosemary
Rosemary: a common first name for females in English speaking countries [noun]
rosemary: a bush with small narrow leaves that smell sweet and are used in cooking as a herb [noun]

Regency and regency
Regency: in the style of the period 1811–20 in Britain [adjective]
regency: government by a regent (a person who rules a country in place of the king or queen) [noun]

Scot and scot
Scot: a native of Scotland [noun]
scot: a charge, tax, or payment [noun]

Self and self
Self: a popular American magazine [noun]
self: character or personality [noun]

Warren and warren
Warren: a common name in English speaking countries [noun]
warren: a system of holes and underground tunnels where wild rabbits live [noun]


Capitonyms are case-sensitive words. However, when capitonyms appear at the beginning of a sentence, there is no way to understand which meaning is being referred to except the context in which they are used.
Capitonyms also create confusion in the aspect of listening. Because there is no way to understand which meaning is being referred to except the context in which they are used.

Capitonyms generally occurs due to one form being a proper noun. Proper noun is a word that is the name of a person, a place, an establishment, etc. and is written with a capital letter.
Thus, capitonyms may include:
A name of a person (Jack/jack)
A name of a place, city, country, etc. (Japan/japan)
A name of a language (Ewe/ewe)
A name of a company (Fiat/fiat)
A name of a publication (Time/time)
A name of a river/lake/hill/mountain, etc.

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About the author

Manik Joshi was born on Jan 26, 1979 at Ranikhet and is permanent resident of Haldwani, Kumaon zone of India. He is an Internet Marketer by profession. He is interested in domaining (business of buying and selling domain names), web designing (creating websites), and various online jobs (including 'self book publishing'). He is science graduate with ZBC (zoology, botany, and chemistry) subjects. He is also an MBA (with specialization in marketing). He has done three diploma courses in computer too.

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Additional Information

Manik Joshi
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Published on
Oct 25, 2014
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Language Arts & Disciplines / Public Speaking
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This Book Covers The Following Topics:

01. Collective Phrases
02. Cries of Creatures
03(A). Young Ones of Birds/Animals/Insects
03(B). Animals/Birds/Insects and Their Homes
04. Flowers and the Quality They Refer to
05. Anniversary Gifts
06. Idiomatic Comparisons
07. Natives

Sample This:
01. Collective Phrases

Meaning: gradual increase of something in number or quantity
an accumulation of capital
an accumulation of fat
an accumulation of laws
an accumulation of paperwork

Meaning: a large group of armed ships | a large group of people, things, etc.
an armada of drivers
an armada of gunboats
an armada of trucks
an armada of vessels

03. ARMY
Meaning: an organized group of people or things
an army of advisers
an army of ants
an army of nurses
an army of photographers
an army of robots
an army of soldiers
an army of volunteers

Meaning: an impressive group or collection of things or people
an array of activities
an array of bottles
an array of costumes
an array of hats
an array of jackets
an array of programs
an array of regulations
an array of services
an array of styles
an array of topics
an array of weapons

Meaning: a collection of different things or of different types of the same thing
an assortment of artists
an assortment of clothes
an assortment of dishes
an assortment of evidence
an assortment of films
an assortment of games
an assortment of gifts
an assortment of homes
an assortment of plates
an assortment of weapons

06. BAND
Meaning: a group of people who do something together or who have the same ideas, interest or purpose
a band of criminals
a band of activists
a band of musicians
a band of outlaws
a band of protesters
a band of singers
a band of thieves

07. BALE
Meaning: a large amount of a light material; pressed or wrapped tightly together and tied up with cords, etc.
a bale of cardboard
a bale of cotton
a bale of the fibers
a bale of hay
a bale of paper
a bale of straw
a bale of wool

Meaning: a sudden and aggressive occurrence of large number of something, that are directed at somebody
a barrage of abuses
a barrage of attacks
a barrage of bullets
a barrage of changes
a barrage of complaints
a barrage of criticism
a barrage of digital ads
a barrage of emails
a barrage of gunfire
a barrage of phone calls
a barrage of punches
a barrage of queries
a barrage of questions
a barrage of tests

Meaning: a number of people or things that are regarded as a group | a consignment of goods produced at one time
a batch of bottles
a batch of cookies
a batch of ice cream
a batch of images
a batch of letters
a batch of noodles
a batch of petitions
a batch of players
a batch of students
a batch of vehicles

10. BEVY
Meaning: a large group of people or things of the same kind
a bevy of dancers
a bevy of girls or women
a bevy of laws
a bevy of models
a bevy of officers
a bevy of proposals
a bevy of quails
a bevy of schools
a bevy of sensors
a bevy of vendors

Meaning: a powerful group of people who make decisions and control a company or other organization
a board of advisors
a board of commissioners
a board of directors
a board of doctors
a board of governors
a board of legislators
a board of managers
a board of regents
a board of service operators
a board of supervisors
a board of trustees

English Words And Meanings, Advance English Words And Their Meanings, Learn English Words For Improving Your English, English Words And Meanings From Letter A To Letter Z

Sample This:

("sb" implies somebody, "sth" implies something)

abase yourself to accept sb's power over you
knuckle under to sb/sth to accept sb/sth else's authority
submissive too willing to accept sb else's authority
subservient to sth submissive, less important than sth else

abashed ashamed and embarrassed
bashful shy and easily embarrassed
put sb on the spot to make sb feel embarrassed by asking difficult question

about turn / volte face complete change of opinion, etc.
turn about sudden and complete change in sth

abstemious not allowing yourself to have much food or alcohol or enjoyable activities
austere without any decorations; (of a person) strict and serious; abstemious

ad-lib to give a speech or a performance without preparation or practice
improvise to make or do sth using whatever is available, to ad-lib

abuse unfair or cruel treatment of sb/sth
oppress to treat sb cruelly, to weigh down
persecute to treat sb cruelly

acclaim to praise sb publicly, praise and approval
commendation / plaudits praise and approval

accolade praise or award of honour
laurels honour and praise given to sb because of sth they have achieved

acrid bitter smell or taste
acrimony bitter feelings or words

adolescent young person who is developing from a child into an adult
teens years of a person's life when they are between 13 and 19 years old

affected pretended
disaffected unsatisfied

affront to insult or offend sb
take umbrage at sth to feel offended or upset by sth

aft in the stern of the ship or aircraft
abaft in the stern of a ship
stern the back end of a boat or ship

agglomeration group of things put together in no particular order
conglomeration mixture of different things found all together

a la carte food which is selected from the list of dishes and prices
table d' hot plate of food with fixed price

agnosia inability to recognize people and things
analgesia loss of the ability to feel pain while still conscious
apoplexy inability to feel, move because of injury in the brain
asphyxia difficulty in breathing which may cause death or unconsciousness
dyslexia difficulty in reading and spelling but no effect in intelligence

agoraphobia fear of being in the crowd
claustrophobia fear of being in a small confined place

alimony money, which is given to former husband or wife after the end of the marriage
palimony money which is given to former partner after the end of a relationship

altercation noisy argument or disagreement
argy-bargy noisy disagreement

alumna former woman student
alumnus former male student

amble / saunter / stroll to walk in a slow relaxed way
ramble to walk for pleasure
Homonym a word that is spelt like another word (or pronounced like it) but which has a different meaning, for example Key meaning ‘set of answer to problems’ and Key meaning ‘button on computer keyboard’.

The state of being a homonym is called homonymy.

Very Important Note:

In Strict Sense, Homonyms have same spelling, same pronunciation, and different meaning.

HOMONYMS in Strict Sense:

Same Spelling / Same Pronunciation / Different meaning
Homonyms are also known as “Multiple Meaning Words”.

Examples: fare, principal, etc.

Fare -- a passenger | Fare -- price
Principal -- most important | Principal -- head of a school

In Wider Sense, Homonyms can also include words that have same or similar pronunciation (but different spelling) or same spelling (but different pronunciation).
In first situation, they are called ‘HOMOPHONES’
In second situation, they are called ‘HOMOGRAPHS’

HOMONYMS In Wider Sense:

Different Spelling / Same or Similar Pronunciation / Different meaning
Note: ‘Homophones’ are also called ‘Heterographs’.
Homophones are also known as “Sound-Alike Words”.

Examples: ad/add, know/no, etc.

ad -- advertisement | add -- to include
know -- to have information | no -- refusal

Same Spelling / Different Pronunciation / Different meaning
Note: ‘Homographs’ are also called ‘Heterophones’.

Examples: bow, lead, etc.

Bow (noun) -- [Pronunciation -- boʊ] -- a weapon used for shooting arrows
Bow (verb) -- [Pronunciation -- baʊ] -- to move your head forwards and downwards

Lead (noun) -- [Pronunciation -- led] -- a metallic element
Lead (verb) -- [Pronunciation -- li:d] -- to go in front

Sample This:

01. Accident
1. Accident -- an event in which injury or damage is caused in or by vehicle
2. Accident -- something that happens unexpectedly

02. Action
1. Action -- a legal process
2. Action -- fighting in a war

03. Alight
1. Alight -- on fire
2. Alight -- to get out of a vehicle

04. Angle
1. Angle -- inclination of two lines with each, measure in degrees
2. Angle -- to catch fish

05. Arch
1. Arch -- curve; semicircle
2. Arch -- mischievous

Sample This:

01. Abhorrent / Aberrant
1. Abhorrent -- causing hatred for moral reasons
2. Aberrant -- unusual and socially unacceptable

02. Accede / Exceed
1. Accede -- to agree
2. Exceed -- to surpass

03. Accept / Except
1. Accept -- to admit
2. Except -- apart from

04. Acclamation / Acclimation
1. Acclamation -- loud and enthusiastic welcome
2. Acclimation -- process of getting used to a new climate or situation

05. Adapt / Adept / Adopt
1. Adapt -- to adjust or modify
2. Adept -- skillful
3. Adopt -- to become legal parents of somebody’s child

Sample This:

01. Absent
1. Absent (adjective) -- not present
2. Absent (verb) -- to not be in a place

02. Abuse
1. Abuse (noun) -- misuse
2. Abuse (verb) -- to misuse something

03. Accent
1. Accent (noun) -- pronunciation
2. Accent (verb) -- to put emphasis on a part of something

04. Address
1. Address (noun) -- details of the place where you live or work; postal address
2. Address (verb) -- to make a formal speech

05. Advocate
1. Advocate (noun) -- supporter of something
2. Advocate (verb) -- to support something publicly

Learn Difficult English Words & Their Meanings

Sample This:

("sb" implies somebody, "sth" implies something)

abate to become, or make sth less strong
abed in bed
aberrant not socially acceptable
abet to help, or encourage sb to do sth wrong
in abeyance not being used for a period of time
ablutions act of washing yourself
aboard on a ship, plane, bus etc.
abode where sb lives
abolition ending of sth
abominate to feel hatred, or disgust
abomination extremely unpleasant, disgusting
abortive unsuccessful
above board legal and honest; in a legal and honest way
abridge to make book, etc. shorter
absent minded forgetful
abstainer who chooses not to vote, who never drinks alcohol
abstruse difficult to understand
abundant plentiful
abysmal extremely bad
abyss deep wide space, or hole that seems to have no bottom
accede to agree, to become king, or queen
accommodating willing to help, obliging
accomplish to achieve sth
in accord with sb/sth in agreement with
accord with sth to agree with sth
accountable responsible
accoutrements pieces of equipment for a particular activity
accredited officially recognized
accrue to increase over a period of time
accursed suffering from a curse, or black magic
ace person who is very good at doing sth
Achilles heel weak point in sb's character attacked by other people
acme peak
acquaintance with sb slight friendship
make sb's acquaintance to meet sb first time
acquiesce to accept sth, even if you do not agree
acrimonious bitter
acrobat rope dancer
acronym a word formed using initial letters of other words
act up to behave badly
acumen ability to understand and decide things quickly
ad hominem against person's character
ad nauseam again and again in boring and annoying way
Adam's apple lump at the front of the throat
adamantine very strong and impossible to break
add up to seem reasonable
add-on a thing that is added to sth else
adieu goodbye
ad-infinitum for ever
adjourn to postpone
adjudicate to make official decision
adjure to order sb to do sth
Adonis extremely attractive young man
adorable attractive
adoration great love, or worship
adore to love very much, to like very much
adrenalin hormone produced in the body due to excitement, fear, or anger
adulation excessive praise
the advent of sb/sth coming of invention, etc.
adventitious happening by accident; not planned
advisable sensible
advise sb of sth to inform
advisory official warning
aeon thousands of years
aerodrome small airport
aesthete who love art and beautiful things
affaire love affair
affectation behaviour, action to impress other people
affectionate loving
affections person's feelings of love
affective connected with emotions, attitudes
affliction pain and suffering, or sth that causes it
afforestation process of planting areas of land with trees
aficionado who likes a particular subject, etc. very much and knows a lot about it
afloat floating on water
afoot being planned
afore mentioned mentioned earlier
aftermath situation existing after a war, an accident, etc.
her mouth was agape wide open, because of surprise or shock
come of age to become mature
age of consent legal age to have sex
aggrandizement increase in the power, or importance of a person, or country
aggravate to worsen
agonize over sth to spend a long time thinking and worrying about sth
agreeable pleasant and easy to like
aggrieved feeling that you have been treated unfairly
aghast horrified
ahead of earlier than
agog excited
What are Phrases?

In simple words, phrases are ‘group of words’ which have particular meaning when used together.

Phrases may contain two or more words.

You can also define ‘phrase’ in the following words:

Phrase is a group of words acting as a single part of speech and not containing both a subject and a verb.


Phrase is said to be apt, brief and cogent expression.


Phrase is a small group of words which may stand together on its own.

Phrases containing two or more words are widely used in daily English. Below is the list of phrases in alphabetical order.


Common English Phrases -- A

[Meaning: suffering]
Common Phrases:
Cyclone-affected areas
Explosion-affected people
Famine-affected region
Flood-affected city
Rain-affected families
Violence-affected community

[Meaning: badly affected]
Common Phrases:
Disease-afflicted infant
Drought-afflicted villages
Terror-afflicted countries

Common Phrases:
Advancing age
Age defying beauty products
Age gap
Age-old conventions / custom / tradition / social norms
Cut-off age
Lower / upper age limit
Marriageable age
Old-age complications

[Meaning: each and every one; completely; in the highest degree]
Common Phrases:
All-out offensive
All-state shutdown
All-terrain truck
All-weather roads
All-woman bank

Common Phrases:
Animal instincts
Animal rights groups
Animal-human conflict
Aquatic animal
Stray-animal feeders

[Meaning: the opposite of; opposite to; preventing]
Common Phrases:
Anti-aircraft missiles
Anti-auto theft squad team
Anti-bacterial treatment
Anti-biotic drug
Anti-competitive practices
Anti-copying act
Anti-corruption body / watchdog
Anti-drug drive
Anti-encroachment drive
Anti-extremism campaign
Anti-graft activist / court
Anti-hate laws
Anti-inflammatory effect
Anti-liquor stir
Anti-malarial medications
Anti-national destabilizing agenda
Anti-national elements / mindset
Anti-obscene calls cell
Anti-people policies
Anti-poaching steps
Anti-rowdy squad
Anti-sabotage team
Anti-spam legislation
Anti-terror cooperation / system
Anti-terrorism intelligence unit
Anti-theft checking campaign

[Meaning: carrying or having weapons]
Common Phrases:
Nuclear-armed countries / state
Rifle-armed guard
Shotgun-armed policeman

Common Phrases:
Arial attacks
Cowardly attack
Dreadful terror attacks
Maximum impact attack
Sectarian attacks
Vigilante group attack

Common Phrases:
Attention-grabbing headline / stunts
Attention-seeking behaviour

Common Phrases:
Attitude problem
Broad-minded attitude
Callus / confrontation / negative / obstinate / positive attitude

Phrases starting with ‘-ed, -en, etc. Words’
Abandoned dug-cum bore well
Accumulated anger
Agitated mob
Alleged student
Animated cartoons
Appalled silence
Apprehended litigation
Armed conflict / uprising
Assumed name
Attempted robbery

Also Note:
Construction-allied industries
Flight-associated headaches
Huge-accounted wealth
Internationally acclaimed poet
State-advised price

Phrases starting with ‘-ing Words’
Acting chairman of city
Adjoining banks
Ailing former leader
Aspiring candidates for MITs
Aspiring immigrants to Germany
Aspiring policeman
Awe-inspiring crafts

Other Common Phrases – A
A little less pitiable situation
A little noticed fact
A little off-white appearance
Abode of the gods
Abortive bid
Abrupt departure
Absolute authority
Absorbent paper
Abstract principles
Academic excellence / qualifications
Academically bright student
Access control system
Accident insurance / spot / site
Accused applicant
Aches and pains
Active involvement / part / participation
Actively zealous
Actual fact
Acutely conscious
Adhesive quality
Administrative error / sources
Admissible evidence
Adolescent boys / girls
Advance notice / tax / warning / booking
Adventurous mind
Adverse circumstances / effect / experience / verdict
Advertising campaign
Advisory body / committee
Aerial display fireworks
Agreement of negotiation
Air-conditioned bus
Aluminum foil
Amateur photographer
Ambitious project
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