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English Stylistics Class 2014. Hyperbole, Understatement, Periphrasis and Euphemism


Last week we discussed about Hyperbole, Understatement, Periphrasis and Euphemism.

I want to share with information that I found about these SDs)

PERIPHRASIS , one of many literary Tropes, is the "use of a longer phrasing in place of a possible shorter form of expression", or  "an instance of periphrasis"

It was first used in the 1530s, and comes from a Latin word meaning "circumlocution," or from the Greek,  periphrazein, "to speak in a roundabout way," from peri- "round about" (see peri-) + phrazein "to express."

Periphrasis is most often used to give the reader the sense that more detail has been doled out when the writer only needs to say one word or one short phrase.

Examples of Periphrasis

  • “The big man upstairs hears your prayers.” (Refers to God.)
  • "The king of the football team hiked the ball." (Refers to quarterback.)
  • Voldemort, the main villain of the Harry Potter series, is often called "He Who Must Not Be Named."
  • The high-tech, electronic device said that I had an email. (Refers to computer.)
  • The greatest playwright that ever lived wrote Romeo and Juliet. (Refers to Shakespeare.)


Euphemisms To Speak Politely And Courteously
  • Fat - chubby, full-figured, plump, voluptuous, overweight, big boned
  • Remedial - special needs, developmental
  • Poor - underprivileged, unable to make ends meet, modest, financially embarrassed
  • Handicapped - physically challenged, disables, differently abled, crippled
  • Homeless - displaced, dispossessed, adrift
  • Military Attack - armed intervention, collateral damage
  • Bathroom - be excused, restroom, public conveniences
  • Unemployed - between the jobs
  • Vomit - blow chunks, lose your lunch
  • Pregnant - bun in oven, in the club, in the family way
  • Euphemisms For Death Asleep with Jesus, bite the dust, cement shoes, bills of mortality, called home, deceased, feeling no pain, cross over to the other side, go to one's last home, go to the last roundup, on the heavenly shores, run down the curtain, peg out, breathe one's last, give up the ghost, sprouted wings and taking a dirt nap.

If you want you can see more examples here : http://fos.iloveindia.com/euphemism-examples.html


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