joey words

words embedded within words


joey word = ein Synonym, das in einem englischen Wort versteckt ist



“The synonyms nestled inside a kangaroo word are called JOEY WORDS. This is a reference to how baby kangaroos cuddle inside their mothers’ pouches.”

Josh Smith - ProEdit (21st May 2019)

Did you

noun (informal Australian)

- an infant marsupial

- a baby kangaroo, koala, or opossum

joey word
noun phrase

- a synonym contained within a word; i.e. “chicken” contains the word “hen”

- a gender-neutral name of English and Hebrew origins, meaning “God will increase"


The term "joey" originated in Australian English and is primarily used to refer to a young kangaroo, koala, or wallaby — the earliest documented use  appeared around 1839.

One theory suggests that "joey" may have derived from an Aboriginal Australian word, as many Australian English terms have Indigenous roots. However, there isn't clear evidence to support this theory.

Another possibility is that "joey" evolved from a diminutive form of the name "Joe”, which was a common name in Australia during the time the term emerged. In this sense, "joey" would simply mean a small or young version of something.

Overall, while the exact etymology of "joey" remains uncertain, it has become firmly established in Australian English as the term for a young marsupial.


Words in which other words are embedded are called “kangaroo words”. As kangaroos hold their young (joeys) in their pouches, so kangaroo words contain “joey words”.

There are hundreds of joey words hopping around out there — here’s a sampling from A to Z:

- abnormality > anomaly
- balderdash > blah
- chariot > car
- dismayed > sad
- entwined > tied
- falsified > lied
- granulated > grated
- honorable > noble
- infuriated > irate
- jollity > joy
- kindred > kin
- lighted > lit
- misinterpreted > erred
- nourished > nursed
- ornamented > ornate
- precipitation > rain
- quintuplet > quintet
- rambunctious > raucous
- stealthy > sly
- tracked > traced
- unanimity > unity
- veracity > verity
- weakening > waning
- yearning > yen
- zipper > zip

An “anti-kangaroo word” is a kangaroo word that contains a joey word that is its antonym:

- abuse > use
- animosity > amity
- bearded > bare
- communicative > mute
- convent > coven
- courteous > curt
- fabrication > fact
- feast > fast
- female > male
- friend > fiend
- iconoclast > icon
- pest > pet
- prudent > rude
- prurient > pure
- resigned > reigned
- she > he
- there > here
- threat > treat
- wonderful > woeful

A “twin kangaroo word” is a kangaroo word that contains two joey words:

- community > county & city
- container > can & tin
- diminutive > minute & mini
- deteriorate > die & rot
- feasted > fed & ate
- magister > master & mister

A “grand kangaroo word” is a kangaroo word which has two joeys words, one of which is in the pouch of the other:

- alone > lone > one
- amicability > amiability > amity
- complaisant > compliant > pliant   
- expurgate > purge > pure
- frangible > fragile > frail


- Red kangaroos can reach speeds over 35 miles per hour and leap 25 feet in a single bound.

- In Australia, kangaroos are responsible for more human fatalities than sharks, often due to vehicle collisions. For this reason, many Australians fit their cars with 'roo bars' to minimize damage.

- a small population of wild kangaroos exists in France, showing their adaptability to different environments.

- Female kangaroos are almost always pregnant but can pause their pregnancies during adverse conditions, a process known as diapause.

- Interestingly, kangaroos are predominantly left-handed, using their left hand for tasks like grooming and feeding.

The kangaroo is featured on the Australian Coat of Arms because it cannot move backward, symbolizing the nation's progressive nature.

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“It’s a curious fact that hundreds of so-called ‘kangaroo words’ containing ‘JOEY WORDS’ exist in the English language.”

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