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i can't believe CONTRARIWISE is a real word

misterR avatar
(most of the research was done by james, i'm just gluing it together and talking shit)
04/28/2018, 9:20am CST


i don't like it one bit. look at this!

definition of contrariwise. adverb. 1. in the opposite way or order. 'it worked contrariwise - first you dialled the number then you put the money in'. 1.1. in contrast to something that has just been stated or mentioned. 'contrariwise, a registered person may vote, even if not entitled to be registered.

you see this shit? it's a screenshot of a dictionary entry. OXFORD even. this is a legit fucking word that's actual.

this is crazy. i can't swallow that some fuck went and combined fuckin... "contrary" and "otherwise" into a word and it caught on. it's like the sorta bullshit fancypants term a smartass high-intellect motherfucker would make up on the fly to impress someone. rubs me the wrong way it does.

just think. a hundred thousand decades ago, some madman must've thought "oh me oh my, oh my oh me, wherefore be there no-ith word-ith through which mine inexquisitely uniqial intellect can be delivered, the meaning of whitchh perterniates to some formication of condradictionism? oh, the grave injustices that plague our sociiety on this day, and any other day!" something like that. and made up his own damn word for "but". and the word was CONTRARIWISE.

so here i am, right? just sat here. i'm just sat here catching flies with my mouth agape like one of them no man's sky sons of bitches, staring at this shitstain on my screen in shock. and after 10 solid days of... dead brain from this shit i'm thinking, this isn't right. i'm thinking how did this happen? how long's this word of nightmares been hiding from me? who could've saved us from it, but didn't?

it's like they say isn't it? if we forget history it's just gonna happen again, yeah? someone said that.

so i pull my thumb out my ass and i commit. historians have got to know. mark my words, word of this word's gonna reach people with better memories than mine and i'm gonna take every measure i can get to pull it off. never again is some brain-inflating fuck gonna tar this neat language with their bullshit frankenstien words.

am i crazy enough to think i can expose the whole world to the history of this evil word alone? fuck no. not just me, not in a million goddamn years.

what about two of us though? ...reckon that could work.

here's what happens next. i hit up my mate here at the R squad, james. i show him this goddamn... evil passage, and he tells me. this isn't right. i go MOTHERFUCKER YEAH, WE GOTTA DO SOME SHIT PRONTO. and we get started. we're getting right down to the bottom of this contrariwise shit, then we're dragging it right back up to the top like a vampire into sunlight.

here's something i've picked up about james, a little trick of his he's never let me in on: the guy is a web-searching machine. felt like seconds before we had ourselves a pretty damn solid timeline of this fake-smart word for jackoffs. when it showed up, where it showed up, what it's been up to since, all that quality stuff. let's finally dig into this shit.


the investigation


merriam-webster

alright first off we've got a bit of info from merriam-webster dictionary. see for yourself.

first known use: 14th century

if this shit's true then it's a pretty decent starting point. narrows it down for us a bit, gives us a timeframe to look at.


through the looking glass (1872)

i've never read this book, but contrariwise is in there. it shows up once or twice in chapter 4 when tweedledee and tweedledum appear and alice is gawking at them. here's the first offense:

'If you think we're wax-works,' he said, 'you ought to pay, you know. Wax-works weren't made to be looked at for nothing. Nohow.'

'Contrariwise,' added the one marked "DEE", 'if you think we're alive, you ought to speak.'

seems to fit the meaning. goddamn this word sucks dick, you could've picked ANY other word but you ran with contrariwise because you want to show off. but hang on, if you read on a little it starts to tell a different story.

'I know what you're thinking about,' said Tweedledum; 'but it isn't so, nohow.'

'Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, 'if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'

he's taking the piss, isn't he? this carroll guy, right, he's making fun of this dumbass contrariwise word by getting these pretentious egg motherfuckers to keep spouting it off like it ain't nothing, along with all the rest of this dumb crap. way back then and already mocking this shit, this bloke's so ahead of the curve he's halfway into the next one.


some website called contrariwise

speaking of: james ran into this website, an "association dedicated to sucking off Lewis Carroll's reputation", he calls it. seems about right to me. dunno why they'd pick the worst word in his book to represent him, though.

this site could be a whole goddamn page on its own. if you look through the blog and around their facebook you'll find posts and that defending him from rumours about being a pedo and just this crazy shit. sounds like one hell of a rabbit hole if you get what i'm getting at.

oh but fucking look at me, i can't let this dead man's legacy shit distract me. we've got a word to worry about!


a dictionary of the english language; in which the words are deduced from their originals; and illustrated in their different significations, by examples from the best writers: together with a history of the language, and an english grammar. (1818)

or if that title's too fancy for you, a real dusty old dictionary. the word's in here, same meaning pretty much, but i like this one because the example they give is about shit. i think that's why it stood out to james too. right fitting, it is.

contrariwise. adv. [contrary and wise.] 1. conversely. divers medicines in greater quantity move stool, and in smaller urine; and so, contrariwise, some in grenter quantity move urine, and in smaller stool. every thing that acts upon the fluids, must, at the same time, act upon the solids, and contrariwise.

yeah. right at home, i say.


polychronicon (1340)

finally we get to the bottom of this disaster. the first form of the word was written (first we could find, anyway) in this book. here's an archive of it.

they did that old english bullshit where words aren't the words yet so they're spelled funny and look fucking dumb to my 2018 head, so you're looking for "contrary wyse" here if you wanna ctrl+f the thing.

here's a bit from the book. i feel illiterate looking at this shit.

For the beame of the sonne beenge continually MS. Haul. by contynualle permanence on men of Afirike consumenge 2261, theire humores, causethe theyme to be more scborte of body,

more blacke of skynne, tnore crispedde in heire, also more feynte in herte by the euaporacion of spirites : hit is in contrary wyse of men beenge in pe northe partes ; for colde causenge opilacion and stoppenge the poores ex- terially causethe humores to be fatte, that makethe men moi'e of body, moore whyte, and moore hoote interially, and by that moore bolde.

this shit's hurting my brain. we're so close, i've got to figure this out or i'll never be sane again.

so here's what i could pull from it right?

  • MS. haul sounds like the name for something, probably a guy. no maybe a ship because you know, MS.
  • it's medical. there's medical shit in there, "humores" and shit.
  • "contynualle" = continual i think, so "continual permanence on men". dunno wtf that means. but since it's continual and permanent it's probably something that sticks around real long, like a sickness or something.
  • "scborte" sounds like some vinesauce meme bullshit.
  • "Afirike": web-searching this gave me a bunch of porn videos and then a clue that this might be a place ("Scottish cap-teins sent into Afirike"). doesn't show up on google maps though, so it's probably an old name for a place isn't it? a country or something. africa i reckon.
  • black of skin, crisped(?) in hair, faint in heart, "evaporation of spirits". symptoms it sounds like. but how're you meant to tell if a spirit's evaporated? does ghost smoke come outta the guy?
  • it sounds like it's saying "the fuckers who go here get this shit done to them" to set up a "BUT THESE OTHER LADS" and that's when the contrariwise is gonna strike.
  • yep looks like it. the afirike fellas' symptoms are all "in contrary wyse" of... men in the northern parties... who get "cold causenge opilaction and " what the fuck is this shit.
  • wait hang on. "blacke of skynne"? "moore whyte"? this isn't a race thing is it?
  • is it?
  • hang on
  • ...
  • MOTHERFUCKER.

all that time i thought this was a doctor's book or something but holy fuck, i think this bit's about racial... populations and shit. i am way too out of my depth for this crap. i don't know IQ differences and skull shapes and power plus prejudice times... the size of my dick and all that, i'm just a dumb fuck running a website.

ahh that's funny though. serves me right for writing train of thought. fuck me.


wrapping up this bullshit

nah but you know what? it's good we read that shit. it's good! it's fucking... it's important in the history of contrariwise. i've just decided.

it's vital. think about it: thanks to james and thanks to me, now we know how the word... could've started, maybe. right? it's possible. it's possible. that's closer than i thought we'd get.

no yeah we did it. we hit the goal. we got to the bottom, dragged that shit kicking and screaming into the light. anyone who reads this shit now's gonna look at goddamn contrariwise, and see it for the FRAUD-ENABLER IT IS. no one who's real smart's got to prove it by tossing around contrariwises or any of these ten-mile-long, fifty-words-rolled-into-one words to wow you with their big brains full of shit.

it's one thing to be the sort of guy that big words come all natural to ya. that's cool, that's not what i'm fussed about. it's when people dig 20 miles into a dictionary and climb back out with a hundred different of these obvious showoff words to flex their toned and sexy brains at you, to pretend at you like you're some DOPE who'll buy that shit for even a second. that crap's for trilby-collecting motherfuckers in the mood for some good wrist exercise you know what i'm sayin?

or think of it this way. i know what contrariwise means now, and you're seeing the shit i write. you're not gonna take me for some kind of top-of-the-range STEM degree mad scientist now i've googled this big fancy word are you? you don't gotta be smart to know these dickhead words from 800 years ago, so don't let motherfuckers dumpster diving into their own ass-tubes face first trick you with that shit. they oughta shove it i reckon.

contrariwise oughta shove it too.

a word from james

just to slam a nail in this coffin we've got one last note here from my partner in crime, who did all the research for this thing.

There you have it kiddos. The big dumb.

Alternatives to contrariwise: https://www2.powerthesaurus.org/contrariwise/synonyms/6 Please use them.

peace out nibbas.

- James



i say "shit" a total of 34 times on this page. shit no, make that 35. wait FUCK.

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