obverse and reverse

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  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    They are similar in form, but there are differences beyond pronunciation.
    Unless you are a coin collector or logician, you are not very likely to use obverse.

    The spoken accent may—this is just a guess—come from the etymological source:

    1656 (adj.), from L. obversus, pp. of obvertere "to turn toward or against," from ob "toward" + vertere "to turn" (Online Etymology Dict.)

    Obvertere probably had a weak accent on the initial syllable, and a strong accent on the penultimate. That initial accent probably survived the transformation into the English word.
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