verbal repetition


anaphora = eine musikalisch-rhetorische fortlaufende Wiederholung eines Themas in verschiedenen folgenden Sätzen, die den Affekt des Nachdrucks mit sich bringen soll



"Done well, ANAPHORA can stir and intensify an audience’s emotions as the repeated elements build towards an unforgettable climax."

Martin Shovel - The Guardian ‘Anaphora hot. Anaphora cold...” (21 April 2015)

Did you


- the repetition of a word or expression at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, sentences, or verses especially for rhetorical or poetic effect

- the practice in literature or rhetoric (= speech or writing intended to impress or persuade people) of repeating the same word at the start of several sentences to achieve an effect

Merriam-Webster / The Cambridge Dictionary


“Anaphora” appeared in the 1580s, from the Greek anapherein “to carry back, to bring up”, from ana “back” + pherein “to bear, to carry”.


1. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,…

  Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

2. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up…  I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia…  I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi,… I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

  Martin Luther King, Jr., Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. (28 August 1963)

3. “…Yes we can.Yes we can.Yes we can.Yes we can.Yes we can.Yes we can. … And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

  Barack Obama, New Hampshire Democratic primary (8 January 2008)

4. “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

  John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address (20 January 1961)


Take care with these, they’ve become a little tired!

- “Run far, run fast.”

- “Go big or go home.”

- “Be bold. Be brief. Be gone.”

- “Open heart, open mind.”

- “Monkey see, monkey do.”

- “Stay safe. Stay well. Stay happy.”

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“ANAPHORA is a very powerful device. It strengthens the speaker, it strengthens the message, it strengthens the memory!”

THANKS to Wallydore for underlining today’s word.

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:


Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

More Word Quizzes: