hendiadys was our Word of the Day on 10/14/2011. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
William Shakespeare often used hendiadys. For example, his character Macbeth, speaking of the passage of life, says "It is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing." For Shakespeare, the construction "sound and fury" was more effective than "furious sound." The word hendiadys is a modification of the Greek phrase hen dia dyoin. Given that hen dia dyoin literally means "one through two," it's a perfect parent for a word that describes the expression of a single concept using two words, as in the phrase "rough and tough." As you can imagine, hendiadys is a common element in everyday speech and writing.
Origin and Etymology of hendiadys
First Known Use: circa 1577See Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
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