One Eva Smith has gone – but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths…

J.B. Priestley, An Inspector Calls

Would "millions and millions and millions" be an example of epizeuxis? Or does the insertion of "and" make it diacope?


2 Answers 2


"Reduplication" and "Diacope" both cover your question.

Reduplication In linguistics, reduplication is a morphological process in which the root or stem of a word (or part of it) or even the whole word is repeated exactly or with a slight change. Other terms that are occasionally used include cloning, doubling, duplication, repetition, and tautonym when it is used in biological taxonomies, such as Bison bison.

Diacope It is a rhetorical term meaning repetition of a word or phrase with one or two intervening words.


Thank you for this question. I admit that I had to look it up, even though I have studied Greek and Roman prosody in some depth. So I looked it up. It is not found in the Cambridge English Dictionary at all. so I had to resort to the (American) Merriam Webster.

the joining of two successive ionics a minore so that the syllables that come together exchange quantities (as when 'short short long long / short short long long' becomes short short long short / long short long long

That may not help very much, as it stands. The point is that it is a metrical device, named according to the Greek verb zeugnumi (ζευγνυμι) meaning I join. The prepositional prefix epi (επι), roughly against, refers to the fusing together of two metric units by swapping the values of the last and first syllables. This has nothing to do with what the OP seeks, of course, though it poses a mystery.

Because in Collins, epizeuxis is included with an entirely new usage, for repetition, which has nothing to do with 'fusion'

the deliberate repetition of a word.

There seems to be no maximum number of repetition allowed. So Churchill scores the most I have found, when he said:

Never give in! Never, never, never, never!

So three επιζευχεις or epizeuxes is positively restrained by comparison with that great orator. The ancient Greek fusion of metrical feet seems a rather unnecessary tarting up of the simple idea of repetition. But that, as they say, is usage for you.

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