Wednesday 22 May 2019


Secrete is an interesting word in that it can mean almost the opposite of itself. 

In some cases secrete  means to put away, hide or conceal. I'm sometimes the secretor of seeds when visiting gardens (please keep my secretory secret!)

Secrete can also mean to produce something – a secretion. Our eyes may secrete tears (I'm not absolutely sure it is our eyes that do this, in fact I'm fairly sure it's a separate gland or duct or something, but the only alternative I could come up with was a festering wound secreting pus and frankly that's way too icky.)

If you've written a first novel, don't secrete it away in a draw – enter it in this competition and you could win a £20,000 advance, the services of a literary agent and guaranteed publication.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patsy - yes secrete is an interesting word ... sadly no first novel here ... cheers and enjoy your outings and secreting of seeds ... cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Put away or produce - such opposite meanings.

Miriam Drori said...

Sometimes we know both meanings of a word but fail to consider the relationship between them. Thank you for pointing it out.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I agree with Alex. So interesting the opposing meanings of this word.

Susan A Eames said...

Yes, it does have opposing meanings, but my first instinct when I saw the word was to picture suppurating wounds. Ick! :)

Susan A Eames at
Travel, Fiction and Photos

Patsy said...

@ Hilary – will do!

@ Alex - there's a word for words which do this, but I've forgotten it!

@ Miriam – I suppose that's because when we see words in context we understand the meaning and so don't look for alternatives.

@ Natalie – It's intriguing, isn't it?

@ Susan – Sorry for conjuring that image.