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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In rhetoric, antanaclasis (Template:IPAc-en Template:Respell) is the stylistic trope of repeating a single word, but with a different meaning each time. Antanaclasis is a common type of pun, and like other kinds of pun, it is often found in slogans.


  • A famous example of antanaclasis is seen in William Shakespeare's Henry V when the King sends the French ambassadors back to their master with an answer to the insulting gift of tennis-balls. He says, "for many a thousand widows/ Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands; Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down;" (HENRY V, I, ii, 284-286)
  • Shakespeare also employed antanaclasis in Hamlet, when Polonius doles out advice to his daughter, Ophelia: "Tender yourself more'll tender me a fool." (Hamlet, I, iii, 107-110)
  • Later in Hamlet, as Hamlet watches the gravedigger, he speculates on the possible former identities of the remains being removed from the grave: "This fellow might be in's time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries: is this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt?" (HAMLET, V, i, 103-108) In this instance we see "fine" used in four separate ways and "recovery" used in two.
  • "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." —Benjamin Franklin
  • "If you aren't fired (up) with enthusiasm, you will be fired, with enthusiasm." —Vince Lombardi
  • "The long cigarette that's long on flavor." —from an advertisement for Pall Mall cigarettes
  • "Sorry, Charlie. StarKist doesn't want tunas with good taste — StarKist wants tunas that taste good." —from StarKist tuna advertisements
  • "Put out the light, then put out the light." —Shakespeare's Othello
  • "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." - attributed to Groucho Marx
  • "If you don't get it, you don't get it." —The Washington Post slogan
  • "She is nice from far, but far from nice!" —Popular.
  • "Just because a record has a groove / Don't make it in the groove." — from the song Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder
  • "If it's not on, it's not on". —Advertisements promoting the use of condoms by encouraging prospective sexual partners to refuse to participate unless a condom is used.
  • "I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man!" - Jay-Z in the song "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" by Kanye West.
  • "The odds are good, but the goods are odd." —Said about one's chances of finding a date in environments where others are predominately of the opposite sex (e.g., majority male or female college campuses)
  • "She's not pretty. She's not ugly. She's pretty ugly."
  • Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Antanaclasis" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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