Paragoge

An Introduction to Paragoge

Paragoge: The annexation of an expletive syllable to a word: as, “Johnny, for John”.
Paragoge: The annexation of an expletive syllable to a word: as, “Johnny, for John”.

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 add a final -ℯ (sporadically) to some words that end in -d : huéspede < huésped ‘guest’; rede < red ‘net’.

Notable Example
  • Addition of a final letter:
    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)
Further Readings:
Silver Rhetoricae, Figures | 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.