Daily Archives: March 23, 2015

Asteismus

Asteismus (as-te-is’-mus): Polite or genteel mockery. More specifically, a figure of reply in which the answerer catches a certain word and throws it back to the first speaker with an unexpected twist. Less frequently, a witty use of allegory or comparison, such as when a literal and an allegorical meaning are both implied.

Marlin: This is the worst sandwich I’ve ever had!

Pat: You should’ve ordered the wurst like me. This is the best wurst I’ve ever had. Too bad your sandwich is the worst!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)