Fun with Google's New Synonym Operator

Curious about what synonyms Google is using for its new synonym operator? Try searching for your synonym keyword and then exclude the same keyword from results, like so:

~help -help = guide, manual, faq, support, tutorial, helping, tips, problems

~search -search = finder, listings, searcher, database

~blog -blog = log, weblog, blogger

~rss -rss = xml, rdf

~tivo -tivo = directv, replaytv, replay, pvr, video recorder

~idiot -idiot = stupid

~happy -happy = fun, happiness, lucky

~loser -loser = Beck

Find any other interesting ones? Post a comment.


    Oops, looks like my linebreaks were lost:

    w3c = xml

    xml = data, tutorial

    tutorial = reference, guide

    guide = map, manual

    map = travel

    travel = tour(s), map

    love = romantic, marriage, lovers, compatibility. One the second page is a chocolote site. Useful to someone searching for love?

    This exposes synonyms but ends up excluding alternate forms of the keyword. For example, ~library -library yields archive and archives as synonyms, but doesn’t give the full picture: It excludes librarian, librarians, etc.

    Yeah, but the “beck” synonym for “loser” clearly refers to the younger, hipper Beck. Check out the results for the synonym search without the exclusion. I’m guessing that the “-beck” lowers in the search results.

    I posted a few more on my site:, although I haven’t tried out this ~/- trick yet…

    My favorites so far: Ayn Rand / Libertarian; Republican / Democrat (weird, that… but come to think of it… 🙂 ).

    Very intriguing…

    Scottish = Scotland, Celtic, Edinburgh, BBC (?!), Gaelic and Glasgow.

    No Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling or Inverness (the other of Scotland 6 cities) and thankfully no kilts haggis or bagpipes!

    There don’t appear to be any synonyms for “sex,” but that brings up another interesting Google quirk. Some search terms return results, even after excluding those same terms. A search for “+keyword -keyword” should always return zero results, right? Wrong!

    In most cases, it returns zero results. But for some reason, very popular terms return a fraction of the total search results. For example, +search -search, +sex -sex, or + test -test. Can anyone explain that?

    “Younger, hipper Beck?” Definitely a matter of opinion, my friend. Even the so-called younger, hipper Beck might disagree with that statement.

    I entered “~dollar -dollar” and the results were about an even split between matches for “car” and “money”, with “car” ranking slightly higher. Does this make sense to anybody? Somewhat ironically, a search for “~terrorism -terrorism” yields hits for “government”. And “script” and “perl” seem to be considered synonyms, but “php” has no synonyms and “python” only seems to match “xml”. How did they come up with these synonyms?

    It does seem to work for other languages as well. If I search for the dutch word for house: “~huis -huis” it will also search for “woning” (which is a synonym) and “makelaar” (real estate agent) which (at least) is a related term.

    Searching for “~boeken -boeken” (books) and it wil also find the singular “boek” but also the dutch word for book shop “boekhandel”

    Both examples are from commercially interesting categories of words.

    Clinton = Bush

    Mozilla = HTML

    HTML = script, netscape, tutorial, tag

    ie = browser, windows, microsoft, ireland, explorer, ie5.5, ie6

    evil = dark

    windows = microsoft, win, exe, nt, desktop, win32

    xp = office, 2000, windows, whistler, winxp, rc1, me, “extreme programming”

    anime = cartoon, animal, animation, anim, “sailor moon”, pokemon, “tenchi muyo”, “gundam wing”

    groove = funk & grove(?)

    god = does not work

    straight = does not work

    hate = anti (not despise or detest)

    It is nonsense!

    Google’s math also seems to be more than a bit fuzzy. “Eight” equals “nine”, “nine” equals both “seven” and “eleven”. And “seven” equals “modern”, for some reason. “phi” is a synonym for “pi”, and “pi” seems to be a synonym of “times”.

    hey just a suggestion make this more easy to find things and do like synonym dictionary on it so that it is way eaiser to do homework on t

    thanks Michelle

    So how do we do this for phrases? Should it be something like:

    ~telephone pole -telephone pole

    or like this:

    ~”telephone pole” -“telephone pole”


    OK, doing the phrases with quotes search doesn’t return anything, i.e.:

    ~”baby toys” -“baby toys”

    and doing:

    ~baby toys -baby toys

    still gives you the word ‘toys’, but doing this:

    ~baby ~toys -baby -toys

    does give synonyms (infant, games, child).

    type in ~president -president. You get bill for the main return which includes the bill of rights, bill gates, yahoo bill pay, and bush, among many other things

    type in ~bush -bush. You get nothing. Type in ~busch -busch You get lots of info on President bush. I don’t know why though.

    I tried typing in ~god -god and got nothing. I tried typing in ~sex -sex and got nothing. I see that someone above typed these in and got results. Is anyone else getting results for these still?

    Oh, I take that back. There were no results returned to anyone for god and no results returned for sex. I noticed today that the results I get for certain keywords are different than words that were returned yesterday. Anyone know why there would be a change?

    Google’s math also seems to be more than a bit fuzzy. “Eight” equals “nine”, “nine” equals both “seven” and “eleven”. And “seven” equals “modern”, for some reason. “phi” is a synonym for “pi”, and “pi” seems to be a synonym of “times”.

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