quotes, notes, timelines & more

Home » Shakespeare's Works » Elements » Figures of Speech » Figures of Speech by Name » Acyrologia


Acyrologia (ak-ir-o-lo'-gi-a) is an unintended use of the wrong word often by someone attempting to sound educated or erudite. “O, villain! Thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this!” Much Ado About Nothing, 4.2.38. Dogberry used “redemption” instead of “damnation.” The modern term for this figure is malapropism.  Malapropism is a neologismA new, deliberately invented word. inspired by the name of the character Mrs. Malaprop, in Richard Sheridan's The Rivals, 1775. Her name is an abbreviated portmanteauA neologism created by combining two words. that combines the prefix mal. meaning bad, with appropriate.

Acyrologia is an example of:
Substitution, Word Play

Let the watch come forth

Read the Quote

Let the watch come forth. Masters, I charge you in the
Prince’s name, accuse these men.
First Watchman
This man said, sir, that Don John, the
Prince’s brother, was a villain.
Write down Prince John a villain. Why,
this is flat perjury, to call a prince’s brother villain!

… continue reading this quote

Act 4
Scene 2
Line 38

Source Type:

Spoken by:
, , , , ,

Figures of Speech:
, , , ,