Tag Archives: periphrasis

Periphrasis

Periphrasis (per-if’-ra-sis): The substitution of a descriptive word or phrase for a proper name (a species of circumlocution); or, conversely, the use of a proper name as a shorthand to stand for qualities associated with it. (Circumlocutions are rhetorically useful as euphemisms, as a method of amplification, or to hint at something without stating it.)


Here comes God. Just because he won $5000 on Take Five’s evening draw, he thinks he has divine powers. He has easily spent $5,000 over the years on losing tickets. Where were his divine powers all these years as he racked up loss after loss? Also, he won the $5,000 on a quick pick without even choosing the numbers.

It’s amazing the links we forge in chains of causation. We posit ‘reasons’ as effects hijack or influence our lives—we seek motives behind luck and chance: God Loves me, I didn’t eat my vegetables, I am bad/good. The motive elevates the effect giving it moral import, when in fact, luck is luck and chance is chance.

As I turned to grab my beer, my mood candle toppled to the floor, falling from the mantle and soaking the carpet with hot wax. The irony didn’t escape me as I wrote it off to bad luck, and stopped there to see if I could resist my desire to ascertain what motivated the candle’s fall. Was it my fault? Then, unwillingly I started thinking of all the reasons I was to blame—from buying the candle at the Farmers’ Market, to lighting it and setting it on the mantle. In a remote sense, these things contributed to the candle’s fall and the spilling of wax on the carpet: having the candle, putting it on the mantle, lighting it.

Although I ended up attributing the candle’s fall to bad luck, if only I hadn’t bought the candle in the first place none of this would’ve happened and I wouldn’t be out $600 for the carpet’s cleaning. Then I remembered, the guy who sold me the candle told me he had a dry cleaning business and made candles as a hobby. He gave me his business card and, without thinking, I called him to clean my carpet. Damn! Why hadn’t I made this connection before: he sells ‘falling’ candles, gives you his card when you buy one, and then when you call him, charges $600 to clean up the mess. I called the police and they laughed at me: “Mr. Crayola is a regular George Washington. Your candle-thing is psycho.” I hung up, very angry. Then there was a knock on my door. I opened it slowly. It was Mr. Crayola holding a lit candle. “No police! You persist, my son will stick the burning candle down your throat!” Mr. Crayola yelled. His son was gigantic. I knew if I didn’t capitulate, I would die by candle-cide.

So, that was it. I went back to my life, but not until I had burned down Mr. Crayola’s dry cleaning establishment (with his son tied up in the back room). I fled to Costa Rica where there’s no extradition and opened a hobby shop.


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

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Periphrasis

Periphrasis (per-if’-ra-sis): The substitution of a descriptive word or phrase for a proper name (a species of circumlocution); or, conversely, the use of a proper name as a shorthand to stand for qualities associated with it. (Circumlocutions are rhetorically useful as euphemisms, as a method of amplification, or to hint at something without stating it.)

Here comes Big Mac doing the Big Trump walk and talking incoherent talk–very cheesy.

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

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.

Periphrasis

Periphrasis (per-if’-ra-sis): The substitution of a descriptive word or phrase for a proper name (a species of circumlocution); or, conversely, the use of a proper name as a shorthand to stand for qualities associated with it. (Circumlocutions are rhetorically useful as euphemisms, as a method of amplification, or to hint at something without stating it.)

I wish Put-in would Pull-out before things get out of hand in Crimea! If there was a clearly focused Camer-on, there would probably be better news from Ukraine.

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

Periphrasis

Periphrasis (per-if’-ra-sis): The substitution of a descriptive word or phrase for a proper name (a species of circumlocution); or, conversely, the use of a proper name as a shorthand to stand for qualities associated with it. (Circumlocutions are rhetorically useful as euphemisms, as a method of amplification, or to hint at something without stating it.)

Mother Romney is no Mother Theresa.  She’s no mother Hubbard either. NEVER a Ma Kettle! No my friends, if she’s anybody, she’s  a regular Olivia Walton. The only difference is that Ann has two Cadillacs & Olivia had no Cadillacs.

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

Epitheton

Epitheton (e-pith’-e-ton): Attributing to a person or thing a quality or description-sometimes by the simple addition of a descriptive adjective; sometimes through a descriptive or metaphorical apposition.  (Note: If the description is given in place of the name, instead of in addition to it, it becomes antonomasia or periphrasis.)

Ricky is a rogue bulldozer.

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

Periphrasis

Periphrasis (per-if’-ra-sis): The substitution of a descriptive word or phrase for a proper name (a species of circumlocution); or, conversely, the use of a proper name as a shorthand to stand for qualities associated with it. (Circumlocutions are rhetorically useful as euphemisms, as a method of amplification, or to hint at something without stating it.)

Let’s go to death on a bun for lunch.

Those shoes are so Hollywood.

  • Post your own periphrasis on the “Comments” page!

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

Epitheton

Epitheton (e-pith’-e-ton): Attributing to a person or thing a quality or description-sometimes by the simple addition of a descriptive adjective; sometimes through a descriptive or metaphorical apposition.  (Note: If the description is given in place of the name, instead of in addition to it, it becomes antonomasia or periphrasis.)

He was a broken man–he lost the election, he lost his savings, he lost his lover, he lost his car, he lost his home, he lost his hope.  In fact, he lost everything that mattered to him except Teddy-Eddy, his drooling poodle. “Woof!” What a bummer!

  • Post your own epitheton on the “Comments” page!

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

Periphrasis

Periphrasis (per-if’-ra-sis): The substitution of a descriptive word or phrase for a proper name (a species of circumlocution); or, conversely, the use of a proper name as a shorthand to stand for qualities associated with it. (Circumlocutions are rhetorically useful as euphemisms, as a method of amplification, or to hint at something without stating it.)

1. Wide Stance was back in the news again last week!

2. When it comes to national health care policies, that candidate’s not exactly a Hillary.

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