How do you describe a type of writing in which a word is repeated (e.g. a word written before as well as after a comma), such as:

  • "My point is that we cannot, cannot believe in a loving, forgiving, merciful, compassionate God that is exclusive." —Quora Source

  • "He just made the minimum height to ride the roller coaster and he's just an awesome, awesome boy." —Example sentence suggested by @1006a.

  • "His speech is quite, quite fabulous"

One of my coleagues suggested the term anaphora which denotes:

  1. the use of a word referring back to a word used earlier in a text or conversation, to avoid repetition, for example the pronouns he, she, it, and they and the verb do in I like it and so do they.

  2. the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses.

  3. the part of the Eucharist which contains the consecration, anamnesis, and communion.

I think it's not a word which I am looking for because it refers to the repetition of a word or phrase from the starting of a sentence. See the following example of anaphora:

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

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    I think your second example is a different animal than the first and third. 1 and 3 look like repetition for emphasis, but 2 looks like the speaker is stumbling over the words—it would be weird to emphasize "just" in that sentence, which would have the effect of suggesting that he's just barely an awesome boy (compare he just—just—made the minimum height to ride the roller coaster and he's just an awesome, awesome boy). – 1006a Dec 12 '18 at 4:12
  • @1006a, completely satisfied with your suggestion. I am going to add this example sentence suggested by you: "he just made the minimum height to ride the roller coaster and he's just an awesome, awesome boy." – Ahmed Dec 12 '18 at 4:27
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The technical term is epizeuxis:

In rhetoric, an epizeuxis is the repetition of a word or phrase in immediate succession, typically within the same sentence, for vehemence or emphasis.

(source: Wikipedia)

but I must admit I had to look it up. According to LitCharts, it comes from an ancient Greek word meaning "fasten together."

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    +1. I'm glad I now know this term. At the same time, I know I'll probably never use it! – Tushar Raj Dec 11 '18 at 12:01
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    27 points in scrabble for that word. – NibblyPig Dec 12 '18 at 11:05

Palilogia or palilogy/palillogy (synonymous to epizeuxis) also describe this type of repetition in rhetoric.


You can use the term 'diacope' which refers to:

the repetition of a word or phrase broken up by one or more intervening words.

Examples sentences from litcharts.com:

-Delightful, delightful, simply delightful.

-"Love me, love me, say that you love me." –The Cardigans

-"Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty we are free at last." –Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • 2
    This doesn't quite fit the examples in the question, though it's certainly related and an interesting word to know. – V2Blast Dec 11 '18 at 19:12
  • Dang, now I have that song stuck in my head – Lightness Races in Orbit Dec 12 '18 at 11:16

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