Home / Writing / What is Anthimeria in Writing? Examples, Definitions, and How to Create Them
a goated goat as an example of anthimeria in writing

What is Anthimeria in Writing? Examples, Definitions, and How to Create Them

a goated goat as an example of anthimeria in writing

Anthimeria is a fun and creative way of spicing up your writing by using words in a different form than their original meaning! For example, instead of saying I wrote an essay and handed it in.” You could say, “I papered the hell out of that essay!” 

It’s when a word takes on a new form in grammar, usually as a verb or a noun, as in the example of paper above.

Definition and Origin of Anthimeria

Anthimeria, also known as “antimeria” or “functional shift,” is a rhetorical device that involves using a word in a different grammatical form than its original intended use. This can involve changing a noun into a verb, an adjective into a noun, or any other combination of grammatical transformations. The goal of anthimeria is to add interest, creativity, and a fresh perspective to your writing.

The term “anthimeria” is derived from the Greek words “anti,” meaning “against,” and “meros,” meaning “part.” This combination reflects the idea of going against the traditional use of a word in favor of a new and innovative approach.

How to Use Anthimeria in Your Writing

Using anthimeria in writing is all about breaking the rules and experimenting with language. Here are some tips to help make the most of this fun and creative technique:

1. Look for Versatile Words

Some words lend themselves more easily to anthimeria than others. When searching for words to transform, consider those that have a clear and easily understandable meaning in their original form. This will make it easier for your audience to grasp the new meaning you are trying to convey.

2. Experiment with Different Grammatical Forms

The key to successful anthimeria is trying out different grammatical forms and finding the one that best suits your purpose. This may involve turning a noun into a verb, an adjective into a noun, or even an adverb into an adjective. Don’t be afraid to push boundaries and get creative.

3. Keep it Clear and Understandable

While anthimeria involves bending the rules of language, it’s still essential to ensure your writing remains clear and understandable. Make sure the new meaning of the transformed word is evident in the context of the sentence, so readers can follow along without getting lost.

Anthimeria in Literature and Popular Culture

Anthimeria has been used by many famous authors and playwrights to add creativity and flair to their work. Some notable examples include:

  • Shakespeare was a master of anthimeria, often using this technique to create new and intriguing expressions. For example, in “Hamlet,” he turned the noun “advice” into a verb when he wrote, “Assume a virtue if you have it not.”
  • Lewis Carroll used anthimeria in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” when he transformed the adjective “curious” into a noun, as in the phrase “a curious dream.”
  • In contemporary popular culture, anthimeria is often used in advertising slogans, such as Nike’s famous “Just Do It,” which turns the pronoun “it” into a verb.

Examples of Anthimeria

To better understand anthimeria and how it can be used in writing, here are some examples:

  1. “Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it!” – This advertising slogan turns the proper noun “Thomas Cook” into a verb.
  2. “The thunder would not peace at my bidding.” – In “King Lear,” Shakespeare transforms the noun “peace” into a verb.
  3. “He friended me on Facebook.” – This sentence changes the noun “friend” into a verb to describe the act of adding someone as a friend on social media.
  4. “She googled her symptoms to see if it was serious.” – Here, the proper noun “Google” is transformed into a verb to describe the act of searching for information online.

Embrace Anthimeria for Creative Expression

By using anthimeria in your writing, you can break free from the constraints of traditional grammar and explore new ways of expressing your ideas. This rhetorical device encourages creativity and innovation, allowing you to add a dash of creativity whenever you need it. Good luck!

If you’re thirsty for more writing knowledge, head over here to learn all 74 literary devices.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *