What is Exouthenismos?

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Exouthenismos (etymologically from Greek, literally means “scorn,” “contempt,” or “disparagement”), is a form of speech where a feeling is expressed by way of contempt.

This figure is often used where the orator or author expresses contempt over some matter.

In Gregory T. Howard’s words, “A lesser form of Abominatio, Exouthenismos is a device which stands consistent with an appeal to Pathos. If one has the desire to move his audience emotionally it is sometimes best to express like emotion toward a view or individual. — (Gregory T. Howard, Dictionary of Rhetorical TermsOpens in new window)

A Classic Example

  1. O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail!

    — (Jeremiah 22:23)

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