Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Amphigory

Amphigory  (noun)Pronunciation:  ['am-fi-gawr-ee]

Definition: A parodic piece of nonsense writing.Usage: Amphigory is a word that may refer to any piece of writing, including verse, song, or prose, that doesn't make sense. An amphigory is very often a parody of some other, more familiar piece of writing or song. The burlesque connotations of the word amphigory (spelled originally "amphigouri") have been attested since the 1800s, as amphigory exemplifies the gross exaggeration and social commentary of burlesque theater. Webster's Revised 1913 Dictionary explains that, upon further reflection or attention, amphigory "proves to be meaningless."

Suggested Usage: Use amphigory as an antidote to the boring parody and satire everyone else seems so captivated by. See, modern parody is often very banal and boring, and the sharp commentary rarely skewers its target. We suggest you start with a staged political parody involving two lizards running for president of the aquarium. Civil unrest quickly turns into a bloodbath; hence, an amphi-gory! (Get it?)

Etymology: While various ideas have been proposed as to the actual etymology of the word amphigory, the origin of the word remains uncertain. The French word amphigouri might come from a Greek term meaning "to circle on both sides," although others have suggested that the Greek suffix –agoria, speech, might account for part of the meaning. As amphigory certainly conveys the idea of "circular speech," this etymology is commonly cited.
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