An Introduction to Paragoge

Paragoge (also known as “proparalepsis,” and also by the epithet “final vowel insertion,” ; derives from the Greek, literally “a leading past” ) refers to the annexing of an expletive syllableOpens in new window to a word: as, “Johnny, for John;” “deary, for dear;” “withouten, for without.”

Paragoge is a kind of MetaplasmOpens in new window, and sometimes Dialects of SpanishOpens in new window that add a final -ℯ (sporadically) to some words that end in -d : huéspede < huésped ‘guest’; rede < red ‘net’.

A Notable Example

    Addition of a final letter:

  1. In Love's Labour's Lost Holofernes parodies this figure. Both “sore” and “sorel” named kinds of deer.
    By adding an “L” [= 50 in Roman numerals] through paragoge, he makes “50” deer:
    If sore be sore, then L to sore makes fifty sores o' sorel.

    (Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost 4.2.59-61)

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  • References
    • Silver Rhetoricae, ParagogeOpens in new window.
    • Susenbrotus (“paragoge,” “diductio” (1540) p. 21).
    • Sherry (“proparalepsis,” “preassumpcio” (1550) p. 27).
    • Wilson (“adding at the end” (1560) p. 202).
    • Peacham (1577) E2v.

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