What do you mean by “figure of speech”? part 4

What do you mean by

(Part: 4)

Hey, folks!

By now, your word picture must be ready. And with this last set of strokes, you’ll create your masterpiece. And if not, revisit the previous three blogs and refresh your basics. With this, let’s learn, understand and memorise the final five types of figures of speech. They are hard to learn, but after all, what comes easy in life?

We are already swimming in the depths, so let’s buckle up and master the tricks to swim effortlessly.


“But this is a punctuation mark,” you might say. Yes, you are right. But there is one more kind of apostrophe — a type of figure of speech. It is used when the character or the narrator wants to talk or address something or someone who is not present in the situation. The Oxford Dictionary explains it as, “A rhetorical figure in which the speaker addresses a dead or absent person, or an abstraction or inanimate object.”


  1. Oh, my alarm clock, please wake me up on time.
  2. Come on, Universe, give me a sign.
  3. “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” — Romeo and Juliet by Willam Shakespeare
  4. Colour purple, you are my lucky colour. Don’t fail me today.

Are you also hooked on those one-liners that come abruptly and leave an everlasting impact on you? Epigrams are those insightful or interesting phrases often expressed in a witty or sarcastic way. Cambridge Dictionary defines an epigram as “a short saying or poem that expresses an idea in a clever, funny way”.  However, it is not similar to a proverb. While an epigram is a short thought or an idea on a particular object or person said in a witty way, a proverb is a factual and true statement not quoted for a specific person or object. 


  1. “There are no gains without pain.” – Benjamin Franklin
  2. “The Child is the father of the Man.” – William Wordsworth
  3. “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” – Audrey Hepburn
  4. “I can resist everything but temptation.” — Oscar Wilde

When in doubt about how to convey something unpleasant or sad, use euphemisms. As per Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, euphemism means, “An indirect word or phrase that people often use to refer to something embarrassing or unpleasant, sometimes to make it seem more acceptable than it really is”. To master the skill of telling something unpleasant, something that might hurt, is a talent. And whether in writing or in actual life, one should know how to do it.


  1. Use “passes away” instead of died.
  2. Use “make love” instead of sex.
  3. Use “senior citizen” instead of old people.
  4. Use “between jobs” instead of unemployed.

“The act of referring to something by the name of something else that is closely connected with it,” explains Oxford Learner’s Dictionary. In simpler words, it means substituting the name of one thing with another closely related thing. 


  1. Using “crown” for the King.
  2. Using “Bollywood” for the people who are a part of it.
  3. Using “dish” for a plate of food.
  4. Using “capital of India” for New Delhi.
Derived from a Greek word, pleonasm means “excess”. In simple words, it is called the repetition of a word in a different way, or what you say “tautology”. While oxymoron is combining two opposite words, pleonasm is combining two words with the same meaning. Cambridge Dictionary defines it as, “The use of more words than are needed to express a meaning, done either unintentionally or for emphasis.” Example: Burning fire. Dark night. It is déjà vu all over again. We should come together and unite for the cause.

It is a figure of speech that is used when the writer wants to present something in more words than what is required. It is helpful in creating vivid imagery or creating an atmosphere instead of directly introducing it into the narrative. In other words, it is a rhetorical device that can be defined as an ambiguous way of expressing an idea, character, or situation in your narrative. 


  1. He-who-must-not-be-named — to refer to Lord Voldemort.
  2. Our Father in heaven above — to refer to God. 
  3. Departed to the heavens above — to refer to death.
  4. At this point in time — to refer to time.
We hope you had fun reading these TWENTY types of figures of speech. Go, read, and memorise all these rhetorical devices shared in this blog as well as in the last three blogs and write your heart out.

After all, you have found your pearls in the ocean of writing!
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