101 Awfully Good Examples of Oxymorons


An oxymoron is a self-conflicting, self-cancelling, or seemingly contradictory combination of words that appear side by side. These figures of speech can be humorous, thought-provoking, memorable, and sometimes stimulate imagination and creativity.

Interestingly, the term oxymoron, made up of two Greek words meaning “sharp” and “dull,” is itself an oxymoronic.


I wonder if oxymorons have helped English become the language of negotiation on Earth? Meaningful negotiations around the world need to be expressive enough for all participants to be able to make themselves understood. However, only with oxymorons can you leave room for ‘diplomatic’ manoeuvres.



Seriously Funny Oxymoron Examples


Act naturally
Awfully good
Bitter Sweet
Clearly confused
Cheerful pessimist
Civil war
Clearly misunderstood
Comfortable misery
Conspicuous absence
Constant variable
Cool passion
Crash landing
Cruel kindness
Darkness visible
Deafening silence
Deceptively honest
Definite maybe
Deliberate speed
Devout atheist
Dull roar
Eloquent silence
Even odds
Exact estimate
Extinct life
Falsely true
Festive tranquility
Found missing
Freezer burn
Fresh cafeteria food
Friendly takeover
Genuine imitation
Good grief
Growing smaller
Guest host
Historical present
Humane slaughter
Icy hot
Idiot savant
Ill health
Impossible solution
Intense apathy
Joyful sadness
Jumbo shrimp
Larger half
Lascivious grace”
Lead balloon
Liquid marble”
Living dead
Living end
Living sacrifices
Loosely sealed
Loud whisper
Loyal opposition
Magic realism
Melancholy merriment
Militant pacifist
Minor miracle
Negative growth
Negative income
Old news
One-man band
Only choice
Openly deceptive
Open secret
Original copy
Overbearingly modest
Paper tablecloth
Paper towel
Peaceful conquest
Plastic glasses
Plastic silverware
Poor health
Pretty ugly
Properly ridiculous
Random order
Recorded live
Resident alien
Sad smile
Same difference
Scalding coolness
Seriously funny
Shrewd dumbness
Silent scream
Small crowd
Soft rock
The Sound of Silence
Static flow
Steel wool
Student teacher
Sweet sorrow
Terribly good
Theoretical experience
Transparent night
True fiction
True Lies
Unbiased opinion
Unconscious awareness
Upward fall
Virtual Reality
Wise fool
Working vacation

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