Periergia (pe-ri-er’-gi-a): Overuse of words or figures of speech. As such, it may simply be considered synonymous with macrologia. However, as Puttenham’s term suggests, periergia may differ from simple superfluity in that the language appears over-labored.

This was a big day. It was the size of Canada and I didn’t have a map–just a slip of paper that said “Roll like a river.” The white Christmas lights flashing in the windows were like starfish rotating in the phosphorescent swirl of a moonless tide pool cluttered with snails and seaweed like some kind of sushi dinner that comes in with the tide and waits for the soft embrace of bamboo chopsticks clutching it and raising it toward the gaping mouth of a hungry human.

Oh God!

To my amazement, right then, the day grew larger, now it was the size of North America. I looked at my watch. It was 192 hours past 65. What!? Suddenly, a sage appeared from of the trunk of my stupid Ford. He was wearing blue and gray striped pajamas with “SAGE” monogrammed over the pocket. Before I could ask him what the hell I should do to get through what had become a limitless day, he said “Roll like a river” and turned into small shrub–maybe an azalea. I wasn’t surprised. I had read about things like this in my book club. So, I got down on the ground and started to roll ‘like a river.’ I rolled off the curb, and was run over by a FEDEX truck, and the day shrunk down to nothing–down to a broken leg and multiples cuts and bruises, and a mild concussion.

It WAS a big day. It was the day I almost died. 

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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