Word; Concept; Image; Icon: Synonymy’s Word Games

Words words words.

Words are interesting, alluring, beguiling, deceiving, betraying, abandoning, don’t you find? The fact that you’re reading right now suggests you consider words at least tolerable, adequate, acceptable. Perhaps you even find words enjoyable, amusing, campy, goofy, idiotic, foolish. If so, you might like the look of Synonymy (sadly not out yet). It’s about synonyms, or rather synonyms which aren’t quite synonyms. It’ll have you getting from one word to another quite different one through chains of synonyms. It’s about the blurry edges of words that make carefully choosing them so much fun, the slight inflections you can add to draw connections. Also, Richard Dawkins is its narrator.

Synonymy will give you two words, one to start with and another to reach. How you reach it through bending synonyms is up to you. You know, like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon but with words; ‘graboid’ isn’t even in the thesaurus. Or perhaps more like a potential round on lovely quiz show Only Connect, except it’s hosted by Richard Dawkins rather than Victoria Coren Mitchell, which would be a terrible mistake for BBC Two. Similies, like synonyms, are imprecise.

Weekly challenges will encourage a spot of jolly competition too.

It’s only in English now, but developer (and filmmaker) Christopher Jarvis hopes to add other languages too. I’m planning to move to Paris next year, so a fun way to brush up on synonyms — one of the weaknesses of school-taught French — sounds lovely.

Synonymy’s due on November 6th. It’s currently trying to negotiate Steam Greenlight.


  1. deejayem says:

    There’s no such thing as a synonym, as any fule kno. Structuralism, innit?
    How on earth did they get Dawky-poos to narrate?

    • killias2 says:

      I think the better question would be.. why Dawkins of all people? He practically goes out of his way to be an asshole.

      • Universal Quitter says:

        Just out of curiosity, does Dawkins bug you because of his views on religion or because of his views on women?

        • Spakkenkhrist says:

          For me it’s just that he sounds like such a smarmy git, this is purely from listening to the audio book of The God Delusion.

        • killias2 says:

          I’m an atheist. My problems with him include: his dismissive tone towards misogyny in the West, his arguable Islamophobia, and, most recently, his batshit comments on abortion vis-a-vis down syndrome. Even regarding his atheism, he sometimes comes off as someone looking for a fight. To sum it up, “He practically goes out of his way to be an asshole.”

      • deejayem says:

        He was a bit of a hero of mine in my long-ago adolescence. It’s sad to see him turn into / reveal himself to be such a massive bell-end.

        • killias2 says:

          There was certainly a time in which I was happy to see an atheist who could push back. But nowadays.. wow. It’s like he goes out of his way to say crazy things. I didn’t even mention the incident where he downplayed child molestation.

  2. TonyB says:

    Only Connect is indeed lovely, and Victoria Coren Mitchell’s presenting is perfectly pitched in its deliberate awkwardness. It’s good to see it now promoted to one of the major BBC channels.

  3. Jamesworkshop says:

    i’ve partly seen only connect, I don’t think i really understood it