Impossibly Impregnable

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.
Molly with the letter IThere weren’t many contronyms to choose from for the letter I. The options were so limited that one list even included this: “Inflammable: Burns easily ~~~ Does not burn (Only the first definition is correct; many wrongly assume that the prefix in- gives it the second meaning)” So basically it’s only on the list because the wrong definition is so commonly accepted that it kinda sorta makes inflammable a contronym. To be fair, it is weird that flammable and inflammable mean exactly the same thing even though they sound like opposites. I wonder if there’s a term for that.
Since inflammable is not technically a contronym, instead I’m featuring impregnable
Impregnable – strong enough to resist or withstand attack
~ or ~
Impregnable – susceptible to impregnation, fertile
I was a bit uneasy presenting this as the contronym because of all the recent unpleasantness with ignorant people making ridiculous proclamations about legitimate rape. I don’t want these posts to turn political; I just want to have some fun with quirky words. So my frame of reference is those films we had to watch in health class where the sperm struggled to break through the egg. And that leads me to make this mind-boggling statement: 
An egg that is impregnable is not impregnable.
And it works using the definitions in either order! Whoa, I think my brain might be leaking out of my ears. Since I can no longer form coherent words, how about some pictures? 
This is impregnable:
This is also impregnable:
Michelle Dugar ===>Duggar family
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of any other ‘I’ contronyms out there? How Intriguing does Molly look with her letter I?

Castle image courtesy of xedos4 /

Duggar images courtesy of TLC


Natalie Aguirre's picture

Don't worry. I think this is a good choice for I. Love the cute dog picture too. Is he/she yours?

John Wiswell's picture

You know, I thought I'd made up that latter definition for the word. It works etymologically, and yet I've never heard anyone actually use it that way, so I figured it must have been my imagination. Neat.

Sheethal's picture

Informative. :)

- Fellow blogger from A to Z!

Susan Taylor's picture

Oh, English. How can inflammable not mean In-Flammable! 

Very interesting post. I confess to never having heard of contronyms. And I do not believe I have any floating around in my brain at the moment. Thanks for sharing!




Jocelyn Rish's picture

Natalie - Thanks! Molly is actually my sister's dog. I'm rotating through the dogs owned by my family all month.

John - Yeah, I don't think the 2nd definition is commonly used, but it was in all the online dictionaries I checked.

Sheethal - Thanks!

Susan - I know, English is so weird. I feel bad for anyone who has to learn it as a second language.

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