Word of the DayMonday, April 14, 2003
\TMEE-sis\ , noun;
In grammar and rhetoric, the separation of the parts of a compound word, now generally done for humorous effect; for example, "what place soever" instead of "whatsoever place," or "abso-bloody-lutely."
If on the first, how heinous e'er it be,
To win thy after-love I pardon thee.
-- Shakespeare, Richard II
His income-tax return, he remarked, was the "most rigged-up marole" he'd ever seen.
-- Frederic Packard,
In two words, im possible.
-- Samuel Goldwyn,
Tmesis is from Greek tmesis, "a cutting," from temnein, "to cut."
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