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Name for a type of phrase

Posted by Bob on January 23, 2000

In Reply to: Name for a type of phrase posted by Teach on January 22, 2000

: : : : I seek the "name" of a particular type of phrase... for example: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." What type of phrase is this called? Does this type of phrase have a specific name? Where there is a play on words within the phrase that causes the words to take on different meanings? Please help.

: : : Somewhere I read an excellent description of all the different types of phrases -- like maxims (short rule of conduct), adages, proverbs (short wise saying used for a long time by many people), sayings and homilies (serious writing that imparts a moral lesson). But I can't remember where I found this passage. Don't you hate when that happens. There were subtle differences in all the words for phrases.

: : : On the other question, there's "pun" and "double entente." But I don't think that's what you are going for.

: : : Maybe the other Phrase Finder folks can expand on these topics.

: : Hey, it only took me three weeks, but I think the word we're looking for here is anadiplosis. It's a figure of speech where an end is repeated at the next beginning. Lovely word.

: 'anadiplosis' is really a rhetorical devices entirely appropriate to describe the phrase in question. It's more correctly described as taking the last word of one phrase, or sentence and including it at, or near, the beginning of the next phrase or sentence.

: An banal example might be "we all wear hats, hats off to the hatter" or "The boy stood on the burning deck. The deck was so hot it melted his boots."

: I'm reminder that there are a large number of these rhetorical devices from the well known 'oxymoron' (perhaps the boxing class of 'light heavyweight') to the lesser known "enthymeme ", an example of which is "he is a rich man, so he dines on caviar'.

: Does anybody really want to know this?
Yep. The reason it took me three weeks to answer was my inability to locate my copy of Figures of Speech, by Arthur Quinn, a nifty book that illuminates zeugmas, epenthesis, periphrasis, catachresis, and a whole bunch of other exotica. Cool stuff.