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Is there a term for the kind of wordplay in which homophones are repeated adjacently with different meaning? For example,

The rose rose up.

Rows rose in church.

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By repeating a word, do you mean that the words are homophones? These sound the same, have different meanings, and can be spelled the same but don't have to be: the beautiful rose rose up, rows rose in church. – aedia λ Aug 22 '11 at 23:46
Wow your example is much better than mine. May I use it in my original post? – Shawn Aug 22 '11 at 23:49
Please feel free to use my examples if they help you clarify your question, @Shawn! – aedia λ Aug 23 '11 at 0:24
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Jim Wegryn calls it a dittogram.

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+1 Your link has a lot of very good examples! I also remember the famous Buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo. I can't find any dictionary saying that the word dittogram is really what Jim Wegryn says though.. All I can find is "mistaken repetition of a letter, word, or phrase by a copyist" (dittography) – Shawn Aug 27 '11 at 4:45
Shouldn't that be 'Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo' ? – Edwin Ashworth Sep 23 '12 at 21:46

This wikipedia entry refers to them as "alliterations".

It uses one of my favorite limeriks as an example:

There's a train at 4:04 said Miss Jenny. 
Four tickets I'll take. Have you any? 
Said the man at the door. "Not four for 4:04, 
For four for 4:04 is too many."

However, "alliteration" is a broader term which can apply to repeated syllables and sounds, and not just complete words.

Maybe there isn't a specific word for what you're describing, but you can hone it down to a phrase: "homophones used for alliteration".

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That's a nice one. I used to like the German "wenn Fliegen hinter Fliegen fliegen, fliegen Fliegen Fliegen hinterher" but it's only 5 flies, opposed to 9 fours. – leftaroundabout Aug 23 '11 at 2:17

There is no special term. Alliteration focuses on initial sounds (the graveyard 'Peace, perfect peace') while rhyme is about endings (stressed syllable onward e.g. Nash's 'rhinocerous - prepocerous'). Consonance is about consonants (the c-v-c syllables 'live, love') and assonance about nearby vowel sounds ('high rise'). A published example of mine achieves 11 homophone repetitions, and is entirely plausible teaching (especially for philosophy students, poor things).

We are here, but for others distant we are 'over there', so our 'here' is their 'there'.
Please don't cry. We are here, but I see you writhe ere 'their there'. There, there — they're there! Their 'there' they're therefore seeing as over here.
That's it really. Let's celebrate, cohere. Hear here 'Hear, hear!' Here, heroes all, ends the lesson, succinctly.

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I believe you are looking for the word homophone


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No, I am looking for the term describing the usage of homophones (or even better, homonyms) in a sentence as a play on words... – Shawn Aug 23 '11 at 0:10

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