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    #1

    what's the word?

    Hi everyone, I accidentally saw a word in the dictionary which I've been trying to remember but can't.... the word means a person who only disagrees with a topic without really meaning it. Can anyone help me retrieve the word please?

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    #2

    Re: what's the word?

    Devil's advocate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Do you mean a devil's advocate?

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    #3

    Re: what's the word?

    See also contrarian.

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    #4

    Re: what's the word?

    Thank you Bobsmith...I found it. It was contrary:
    "He doesn't really mean it-he's just being contrary"
    Do you think it's common among?

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    #5

    Re: what's the word?

    Thank you SoothingDave.
    Though it's not the word that I saw, it's pretty close to it.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: what's the word?

    Quote Originally Posted by shabani View Post
    Thank you Bobsmith...I found it. It was contrary:
    "He doesn't really mean it-he's just being contrary"
    Do you think it's common among?
    It's not uncommon in BrE, but it's also not common! I realise that's not very helpful. What I mean is that there are still people who use it and they probably use it quite a lot. However, I would guess that not very many people under about 40 years of age use it.

    There is a child's nursery rhyme which begins:

    "Mary, Mary, quite contrary ..." though, to be honest, thinking about the rest of the words, I have no idea why she is described as contrary, other than the fact that she grows rather odd items in her garden!

    Did you notice (in the dictionary) that the word is pronounced differently from the same word which might be used in "Contrary to what you believe, I believe that chickens can fly"? In that word, the stress is "CON-tra-ry". When someone is being "contrary", the stress is on the "air" sound in the middle - "con-TRA-ry".
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 25-Feb-2012 at 11:29.

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    #7

    Re: what's the word?

    Quote Originally Posted by shabani View Post
    I found it. It was 'contrary':
    "He doesn't really mean itspace-spacehe's just being contrary"
    Do you think it's common among?
    Yes, but note the pronunciation of the word in this sense :contrary adjective (NOT REASONABLE) - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online

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