In Jonathan Coulton's "Sticking It To Myself," the first word or phrase in one line (bolded) often also serves as the last word in the next line without repetition:

And I heard everything you said
Those things to try to get inside my head
Is full ...

Sticking it to my-
That's not the only thing I lack
A plan
Just my own gun against my
Back down now and let this hostage
Go away

This is as opposed to the chorus of The Wanted's "Glad You Came," which does something similar but repeats the word on the next line:

Turn the lights out now
Now I'll take you by the hand
Hand you another drink
Drink it if you can
Can you spend a little time?
Time is slipping away
Away from us, so stay
Stay with me, I can make
Make you glad you came

What The Wanted's "Glad You Came" does by repeating the last words of one line in the start of the next line is called anadiplosis, but the name of the rhetorical scheme or literary device I'm seeking is that of the first example where the words at the end of one line are not repeated but instead themselves become the words that start the next line. Is there a name for this rhetorical scheme or literary device? If so, what is it?

  • Good question. I've heard this done too and wondered if there's a name for that rhetorical scheme or literary device. I don't think I've ever come across it, but there are hundreds and the vast majority I don't have committed to memory. What's more, searching for the name of one is extremely labor intensive since lacking the proper term means not being able to describe it in a manner that will lead to it popping up in a Boolean search so means reading through literally hundreds until finding it. So thanks for asking. I will be watching this question with pregnant anticipation for an answer. May 8 at 15:58
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    @BenjaminHarman It's anadiplosis, as stated in the answer at the duplicate which even features the same lyrics.
    – Andrew Leach
    May 8 at 16:01
  • @AndrewLeach - Would that it were. An "anadiplosis" would be: "And I heard everything you said. You said those things to try to get inside my head. My head is full." What this is is: "And I heard everything you said those things to try to get inside my head is full." "You said" and "my head" at the end of each line isn't repeated at the beginning of the next (what an "anadiplosis" is) but are left not repeated and so are pulling double duty, serving doubly as the end of one line and the beginning of the next without actually being doubled, without actually being repeated. May 8 at 16:07
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    @AndrewLeach - I immediately did as you suggested and edited user Hactar's question so that it asks only one thing that has not been asked before and so is no longer a duplicate. When I finished, though, you'd already closed it. Still, the edit you said is required for it to not be closed stands, so how about you reopen it? May 8 at 16:25
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    It's 'anadiplosis reduction' (don't bother looking the non-collocation up), almost totally non-standard and hence off-topic. May 8 at 18:16


A type of poetic form in which the last word of one clause is used again at the beginning of the next.

I hadn’t heard this term - though I have used this technique in my poetry and songs.

I found a fascinating article online which has this term, as well as others such as anaphora, epimone, epistrophe, polyptoton and symploce, to feast your eyes on!

Gradatio also appears to refer to gradating statements which increase in importance or grandeur until a climax is achieved.


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    At least according to your source, the Coulton lines under discussion would not be gradatio; the Wanted's lyrics would be. Since the better term for that would be anadiplosis and the question was changed to explicitly exclude it, this doesn't answer the present question although you could add it as another answer to this one.
    – lly
    Jul 28 at 4:54

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