Spiderwords - writercize #90

Spiderwords is a twist on my Next Word game. 

In this version, I give you a word, and you find eight words that relate in some way.  The rules are flexible.  The eight new words could be words evoked by the given word, illustrious words to describe the original, writers, artists or masterpieces you associate with the word, antonyms or synonyms.  You could even choose to find out how to say the word in eight different languages!

The result would be similar to the new visual thesaurus online that looks like a web, or a spider, or an airline destination map, depending on how many relationships there are between words and what the user clicks on.  (If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look – it’s pretty cool, although I wouldn’t say it completely trumps the original thesaurus in the dust as others have claimed.)

Here’s an example of spiderwords:

Original word: “spider”
Eight related words:  arachnophobia, octoped (yes, this is a made-up word), black, fast, fear, spiderweb, bite, woods

The illustration would look something like the sample on the right. 

writing exercise:  For each of the following words, note eight related words.  You may choose to explain the relationship to the original, or allow reader to guess.
  • dust
  • fork
  • mattress
  • mirror
  • yellow

Click “read more” for writercizer sample response.

Writercizer sample response:

Original word: “dust”
Eight related words:  mite, sweep, allergen, rag, desert, rose, beige, Arizona

Original word: “fork”
Eight related words:  spoon, road, Frost, left, eat, feed, proverb, decision

Original word: “mattress”
Eight related words:  princess, pea, queen, twin, bed, sleep, comforter, night

Original word: “mirror”
Eight related words:  vanity, luck, reflection, salon, image, emulate, cracked, bathroom

Original word: “yellow”
Eight related words:  jacket, sun, jaundice, lemon, dilettante, yolk, age, primary


  1. here you go, not much overlap, either! fun exercise!

    dust - feathers, skin, mop, chore, mites, rag, bunnies, neglect
    fork - tine, salad, tongue, pitch, decision, road, knife, spoon
    mattress - queen, sleep, pea, foam, spring, Godfather, pillowtop, full
    mirror - rearview, copy, reflect, image, faults, self, night, morning
    yellow - lab, sun, China, school bus, warning, bright, lemonade, banana

  2. You and Tara got some interesting words! I love reading others' answers.

    Here's what came to mind:

    Dust -- mask, old, abandoned, forgotten, unclean, mites, bunnies, dander

    Fork -- pancake, food, road, metal, prongs, cold, lift, utensil

    Mattress -- heavy, comfortable, old, comforter, night, sleep, freeway, bouncy

    Mirror -- self, reflection, image, unforgiving, fragile, cold, beauty, sharp

    yellow -- happy, summer, sun, mustard, chicken, coward, crayon, wilted


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