paraprosdokian

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek παρά (pará, against) + προσδοκία (prosdokía, expectation).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˌpæɹəˌpɹoʊsˈdoʊkiən/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

Examples
  • Where there's a will, I want to be in it.
  • I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it.

paraprosdokian (plural paraprosdokians)

  1. Figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation.
    • 1906, J. C. Stobart, The Johnson Epoch (Epochs of English literature), volume VII, London: E. Arnold, page 144:
      This style of comic poetry, a kind of parody of the Ballad, a series of quatrains generally leading up to a paraprosdokian or surprise in the fourth line, was initiated by [Oliver] Goldsmith in this merry tale.

See also[edit]

Translations[edit]

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