In the spirit of the What is a Word™/Phrase™ series started by JLee, a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.

If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it a Swiss Knife Word™.
Use the following examples below to find the rule.

$$ % set Title text. (spaces around the text ARE important; do not remove.) % increase Pad value only if your entries are longer than the title bar. % \def\Pad{\P{0.0}} \def\Title{\textbf{ Swiss Knife }} % \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\Title\textbf{Words}^{\;\!™}\Pad}\def\NT{\Pad\textbf{Not}\T\ }\displaystyle \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[yellow]{\phantom{\rlap{rubio.2019.05.15}\S{6px}{0} \begin{array}{cc}\Pad\T&\NT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline\Pad\T&\NT\\\hline % \text{ ORANGE }&\text{ PEAR }\\ \hline \text{ MEET }&\text{ MEAT }\\ \hline \text{ GO }&\text{ CHESS }\\ \hline \text{ ANSWER }&\text{ RESPONSE }\\ \hline \text{ PUZZLE }&\text{ SOLUTION }\\ \hline \text{ ACCOUNT }&\text{ USER }\\ \hline \text{ PLANT }&\text{ BACTERIA }\\ \hline \text{ TRUMP }&\text{ PRESIDENT }\\ \hline \text{ FIRE }&\text{ FORGET }\\ \hline \text{ PHONE }&\text{ COMPUTER }\\ \hline \end{array}$$                                        

And, if you want to analyze, here is a CSV version:

Swiss Knife Words™,Not Swiss Knife Words™

The puzzle satisfies the series' inbuilt assumption, that each word can be tested for whether it is a Swiss Knife Word™ without relying on the other words.
These are not the only examples of Swiss Knife Words™; many more exist.

What is the special rule these words conform to?

$ $

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That was the most important edit I have ever approved. Avoided catastrophe there! $\endgroup$ – Adam Jan 10 at 13:52

My humble guess:

A Swiss Knife Word fits into more than one "class", while a Not Swiss Knife Word is of only one "class". A "class" is one of noun, verb, adjective, adverb etc. (part of speech).


orange is N/A; pear is N-only
meet is N/V; meat is N-only
go is N/V; chess is N-only
answer is N/V; response is N-only
puzzle is N/V; solution is N-only
account is N/V; user is N-only
plant is N/V; bacteria is N-only
trump is N/V; president is N-only
fire is N/V; forget is V-only
phone is N/V; computer is N-only

It's called a Swiss Knife Word™ because

just like a Swiss Army Knife, it is capable of different functions.

More examples:

Swiss Knife Word - Not Swiss Knife Word

correct - incorrect
safe - danger
milk - coffee
stop - cease
stable - delicate

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  • $\begingroup$ As for the correct term: bit.ly/36FkeGp (the link itself would spoil the solution) $\endgroup$ – Glorfindel Jan 9 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Glorfindel Isn't there a single word for this? $\endgroup$ – iBug Jan 9 at 15:59
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    $\begingroup$ I would like to incorrect you in the matter of the first additional Not Swiss Knife Word. $\endgroup$ – Bass Jan 9 at 18:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Well, of course your answer is correct, that's why I wanted to incorrect it :-) $\endgroup$ – Bass Jan 9 at 19:29
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ OK, so the Swissest Knife word is undoubtedly, "buffalo". $\endgroup$ – Mr Lister Jan 10 at 13:25

Words which have more than one meaning? Each word on the left contains more than common meaning, where as words on the right generally have two or more. Although, does Trump? Do names count in this context

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