Best examples of tautology

One of my pet hates is the phrase ‘Koi carp’, used to describe ornamental pond fish loved by many. English to Japanese translators are quite clear that ‘Koi’ corresponds to ‘carp’ in English. ‘Koi carp’ means, therefore, ‘carp carp’, which sounds pretty ridiculous!

Does anyone else have a favourite. I seem to remember a thread devoted to oxymorons, but would be interested to see what gets thrown up here.

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PIN number

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There are loads like that in place names in the UK. River Avon means River River, for instance, as does River Humber and River Ouse, and the village Torpenhow means Hill Hill Hill, as does Bredon Hill and Pendle Hill. Bardsey Island means Bardr’s island island, and Faeroe Islands means Sheep Islands Islands, Isle of Sheppey means island of sheep island. Carmarthen is fort fort by the sea, while Caernarfon castle is Castle Arfon Castle. East Timor is East East. Gobi Desert means Desert Desert. Further afield, the Milky Way Galaxy means Milky Way Milky. And Wookey Hole Cave means Cave Cave Cave.
Not generally known by the hoi polloi. Which means the the many.

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Excellent!! Great post.

There seem to be quite a few things you don’t like - people enjoying their special birthdays and now tautologies. Is there a reason for being so negative?

Naan bread…

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Not so much tautology, but some of my weather ‘sort of tautology’ stuff I am amused by
Sunshine - anyone seen the sun when it doesn’t shine
Today’s temperature will be 10’C or 50’F, they are both the same temperature & UK weather forecasts went to Celsius in 1962. I note the Express comic has a front page today that says we will have 77’F for ‘another’ fortnight.
The wind will blow at 40mph, can we have some wind that doesn’t blow please

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image

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Believe it or not, but I noticed this very one yesterday in a book.

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Sahara Desert

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This is what my latin teacher called ‘parallellismus membrorum’. Two parts of a phrase meaning the same. A structure to strenghten the intention.

I miserably failed on school but I remember all these silly things.

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A bit of pot calling kettle black going on here HH!

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… a dry desert

‘black cauldron’

“inky blackness”?

That’s not really a tautology as ink can be a variey of colours.

i would like to put that on my office door. Some humor in a conservative work world.

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I’ll take issue with the meaning given for Caernafon - it’s the one I can definitively translate (from the Brythonic): it actually means “Fort by the River”.

In this case the fort is Segontium and the river is the Afon Seiont.

Caer refers to a Roman Legionary or Auxilia fortification (whether or not it developed into a Romano-British fortified town). On the other hand Chester or cester, refer to a Romano-British fortified town and the associated vicus.

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A hotel I stayed in encouraged you to enjoy the ‘free complementary water, on us’

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To be fair, with the typo that’s not tautology. :grinning:

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