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.

I was roaming in the gloaming; softly sliding through the dusk toward dawn’s craven poking, the stars’ bellicose yearning for night’s end, even before moonrise, reminded me of my car—a rusted heap of contracted metal, dented, wrinkled and scratched and riding on rotting tires like over-ripe tomatoes gone from the field too long, ready to smoosh at any minute, like the sky and the stars and every anxiety I managed as my existence’s work in the spinning cycles of curling dread that coldly projected my life and death: when night began, how would it end? When I got behind the wheel, would my decaying tires go flat? Somebody is always asking me more often than less often, or not at all, “Matt, why can’t you just relax for an hour, or even five minutes?” I tell them they are making me nervous and go sit in my car. Then, I try to drive away, but I can’t find the key. I am stranded like a salmon on the shore. I wait for the Grizzly Bear and make sure my gun is loaded.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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