In English, words or phrases can be quoted to mean they aren't used in their literal meaning, such as in the following sentence.

That was a "smart" move.

Often, scare quotes are used when the word is used to mean the exact opposite meaning.

Does Esperanto uses quotes for the same purpose, or is there another way for what in English are called scare quotes?

  • I think those kinds of quotes are used in more than just English but I'm not qualified enough to say about their use in Esperanto. Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 7:25
  • They are used also in Italian. I just used English as example, since I was going to use the English terminology. (I would not know what scare quotes are called in Italian.)
    – apaderno
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 7:43
  • I've never heard that term before. Interesting. Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 9:36
  • I was not aware of this specific name. They are used also in French. Sometime we even imitate the quotes with two fingers of our hands.
    – Vanege
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 9:50
  • @Vanege That is even done from American people.
    – apaderno
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


Yes, quotes are also used for this purpose in Esperanto. This is explained in PMEG as follows (http://bertilow.com/pmeg/skribo_elparolo/skribo/helposignoj.html):

Citiloj estas uzataj antaŭ kaj post citaĵo, aŭ antaŭ kaj post vorto, kiu ne estas uzata en sia vera signifo.


Quotes are used before and after a quotation, or before and after a word that is not used with its real meaning.

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