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.
A: Hey baby, I’m gonna throw you a little kiss.
B: And I’m going to throw you your car keys so you can get the hell out of here. All I wanted was a ride home. I invited you in as a courtesy. I thought you could use some coffee. Why’d you put your keys on the table by the sofa, by me?
A: I was marking my territory, baby.
B: You are creepy. Your territory is out in the driveway. Time to go.
A: Ok. I’ll see you tomorrow at work. We can talk things over. Maybe you’ll see the light.
B: I’d rather stumble around in the dark.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)
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