Learn English – Antonym(s) for “antipode” / “antipodes” / “antipodean”


Wiktionary says these terms refer to "the opposite" side, etc and offers no antonyms.

But in practice, in the field of north vs south hemispheres, they are only ever used in my experience to refer to the southern hemisphere from the point of view of the northern hemisphere?

What terms should be used to refer to this aspect "oppositeness" of the northern hemisphere from the POV of the southern hemisphere.

Can I as an Australian refer to somebody from the northern hemisphere as "antipodean"? And even if technically correct will anybody understand me?

Or do the terms in this set have accepted antonyms?

Or what other solutions might I use when I want to convey this reversed point of view?

Best Answer

In general, the antipodes /ænˈtɪpədiːz/ are those

Places on the surfaces of the earth directly opposite to each other, or the place which is directly opposite to another; esp. the region directly opposite to our own.

(All citations from the OED)

It doesn’t simply mean southern, or austral. It means opposite. If you wanted to refer to those at your antipodes, you could call them that, but the word came around when the assumed perspective was that of England. Perhaps you could try boreal brethren for northern neighbors.

An Antipodean with capital, or the obsolete but regular Antipodian, is

1. Of or pertaining to the opposite side of the world; esp. Australasian.

That is also its noun sense. A secondary adjectival sense (not capitalized) is

2. humorously, Having everything upside down.

Plus the expected

3. fig. Of or pertaining to direct opposition; diametrically opposed (to).

Other forms include antipodal, antipodic, and antipodist, which once included a heretic of a particular sort.

Although you will find people using antipode in the singular, that is usually reserved for alternate senses of antipodes, including a chemical one. The original historical singular of antipodes is (or was) antipos:

  • 1631 Brathwait Whimzies 115 ― A Zealous Brother··is an antipos to all church government.

One would have expected antipus there.