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Old 06-01-2012, 04:56 PM   #1
mr ploppy
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What do you call circles moving in the opposite direction?

What do you call it when something moves in circles in opposite directions? Like when you draw circles in the air with your fingers, one going clockwise, the other anticlockwise. But just a general word, not a finger-specific one.

I was thinking a concentric movement, but that doesn't seem to be right. Counter revolutionary?
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:06 PM   #2
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clockwise and counter clockwise?
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:09 PM   #3
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I'm thinking counter-rotating. Funny, there should be a simple word for that motion as seen in simple gears, 3-roll-mills, ink rollers, etcetera. If the circles touch they might be considered meshed.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:27 PM   #4
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Ah, you mean two circular movements at the same time, in opposite direction, without telling which is clockwise and which is counter clockwise? It looks like counter-rotating or contra-rotating, depending on the axis of rotation, is commonly used
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:51 PM   #5
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Dare I say this topic has us 'traveling in circles.' lol. Sorry I just couldn't resist.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:42 AM   #6
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Turning like the gears in a car's oil pump?
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:44 AM   #7
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Dare I say this topic has us 'traveling in circles.' lol. Sorry I just couldn't resist.


I don't think there is a single word to describe it but I think I'd just say "spinning(rotating?) in opposite directions."
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:26 AM   #8
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contrariwise?
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by norway1456 View Post
Ah, you mean two circular movements at the same time, in opposite direction, without telling which is clockwise and which is counter clockwise? It looks like counter-rotating or contra-rotating, depending on the axis of rotation, is commonly used
Yes, I agree. "Counter-rotating" or "contra-rotating" are the appropriate words.
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:29 PM   #10
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Ah, you mean two circular movements at the same time, in opposite direction, without telling which is clockwise and which is counter clockwise? It looks like counter-rotating or contra-rotating, depending on the axis of rotation, is commonly used
Yep, not just one word, but two. Counter-rotating around separate axes, contra-rotating on the same axis. In the example given by the OP, it appears that counter-rotating would be correct.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:02 PM   #11
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Coaxial, although it does not strictly mean rotating in different directions, only around the same axis.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:56 PM   #12
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As we all knew what you meant in your original "two circles moving in opposite directions", I'd suggest you use exactly that. If you're unaware of the exact term, the likelihood is that a reader will be too. Instead of sending the reader running for the dictionary, keep to simple terms.

Last edited by BookCat; 06-19-2012 at 10:31 PM. Reason: wrong form of your; noticed another one!; far too many yours!!
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:08 AM   #13
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Coaxial, although it does not strictly mean rotating in different directions, only around the same axis.
So why use it, when it's not the correct word?
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:09 AM   #14
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As we all knew what you meant in your original "two circles moving in opposite directions", I'd suggest you use exactly that. If you're unaware of the exact term, the likelihood is that you're reader will be too. Instead of sending your reader running for the dictionary, keep to simple terms.
This.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:33 AM   #15
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So why use it, when it's not the correct word?
It is correct, just not unambiguous.
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