Antistasis (an-ti’-sta-sis): The repetition of a word in a contrary sense. Often, simply synonymous with antanaclasis.

This house is beautiful. It has a roof, and walls, and rooms and all the rest, but you never rest, worrying about getting robbed. In its 200-years of existence your neighborhood has had only one robbery. In 1690, Edward the Firebrand raided your neighborhood and killed everybody who owned a cow—-that was everybody except Eggleton Shad who lived alone and was our state’s first vegan. His neighbors hated him because he bragged almost constantly about his dietary superiority to his meat-eating, milk-swilling neighbors. When the neighborhood was wiped out and only Eggleton was left standing, due to the acrimony between him and everybody else, Sheriff Smigton arrested him. Eggleton protested as he ate a raw carrot in his cell, “I am studying to be a vegetarian chef at the Rosy Raddish in Elizabeth Town. I go one day per week and stay over night after my lessons. I was at the Rosy Raddish when my neighborhood was scourged by the truly vile brute.”

Sheriff Smigton let Eggleton go. He searched every inch of the neighborhood. Just when he was ready to give up, he saw something shining on the ground. It was a painted cameo. It was a woman’s face that the sheriff had never seen before. He picked the cameo up and turned it over. It was inscribed. But the inscription was in Latin. Sheriff Smigton headed straight to the Catholic Church where he knew Father Joseph could translate it. Father Joseph put the cameo on his desk and held a magnifying glass over it. Translated, it said “Edward the Firebrand is my own true love.” Well, now the sheriff had the evidence he needed. He set about tracking down Edward. And he found him! He was living like a king in Elizabeth Town. He owned three taverns and a victualing house called the Rosy Raddish, where no meat was served. Given his connection to the Rosy Raddish, Eggleton was immediately rearrested and held on suspicion of conspiracy. He was eventually acquitted—people said it was because he could screw his face up and screw the jury with his fake sobbing.

Edward the Firebrand wasn’t so lucky. He was sentenced to hang, but he escaped. It was rumored he travelled to Boston and became it’s most famous Old Mole dancer, always wearing an elaborate disguise, usually calling himself Eggleton the Teribble and registering his hatred of milk.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

Paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope are available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

Comments are closed.