An Introduction to Mesozeugma

Mesozeugma (derives from the Greek combination ‘meso’ and ‘zeugma,’ literally means “middle marcher or yoking”), is a kind of zeugma Opens in new window in which a verb is placed in the middle of a sentence to serve the subject of the clauses on either part of the sentence.

The verb in mesozeugma is called conjunction or middle marcher as it naturally appears in mid sentence governing other phrases Opens in new window or clauses Opens in new window on either part of the sentence Opens in new window. Below are examples to further enhance your understanding.

Notable Examples of Mesozeugma
  • Her grandsires, father, and brother was a king,
    Her mother a crowned queen, her sister, and herself.
  • (Here, the word “was”serves all the clauses, in such that they agree in one sense.)
  • Fair maids beauty (alack), with years it wears away, and with weather, and sickness, and sorrow, as they say.
  • (The word “wears” serves the initial clause and the two successive clauses, in one sense and congruity.)
  • “What a shame is this, that neither hope of reward, nor feare of reproach could any thing move him, neither the persuasion of his friends, nor the love of his country.”
  • Henry Peacham

    (In this example, the phrase “could anything move him” combine and serves the initial clause and the two successive clauses, in one.)
  • “Both determination and virtue will prevail; both dedication and honour, diligence and commitment.”
  • — Cicero.
  • Neither pears nor apples grow in Antarctica; neither chestnuts nor radishes.
  • (As you may have observed, the word “grow” in this example serves the first clause and the next, enabling one sense congruity.)
Further Readings:
Ad Herennium 4.27.38; Susenbrotus 26;
Sherry 29; Peacham (1577)K3r.; Wikipedia Mesozeugma Opens in new window