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The Hendiadyoin [ˌhɛnˌdiaˌdy'ɔʏn] ( plural die Hendiadyoin; Greek  ἓν διὰ δυοῖν hen dia dyoin “one through two”, rarely Hendiadys ) denotes a style figure in rhetoric and linguistics that describes a complex term using two semantically unequal expressions are usually connected by the conjunction "and".


The Hendiadyoin is usually a fixed expression ( phraseologism ), i.e. a pair or twin formula . Hendiadyoin constructions can be formed according to different patterns:

  • as a phraseological combination of two approximately synonymous terms (as with "Grund und Boden", "never and never")
  • as a phraseological connection of two similar terms that together designate a (newly formed) term (for example "fire and flame" = enthusiastic )
  • as an associative combination of two nouns that together designate a single object (such as "house and yard" = the entire property ).

In some cases one of the two words alone has become unusable (semantically darkened), for example frank [and free], rank [and slim], klipp [and clear].

Phraseologisms such as Hendiadyoin are often formed in German in the form of an alliteration : the paired words begin with the same sound (such as "frank and free", "klipp and clear"). In addition, there are also pairs that form a homo teleuton , that is, agree in the word endings (such as “slim and slim”).

The connection between the two components in Hendiadyoin can tend to be described as attributive . This means that the connection tends to have the character of an explanatory and clarifying, sometimes meaning-changing classification. In contrast to the tautology , in Hendiadyoin only both components together form the actual meaning of the expression (for example, "belongings" for "possession"). In the case of tautology, on the other hand, the two word components have the same meaning as the entire expression, which as a whole only fulfills a rhetorical reinforcement function (for example "manner"). This would be a special case of synonymics , i.e. a combination of semantically equivalent expressions. However, an attributive use (i.e. a Hendiadyoin) is also present when one of the word components already carries the overall meaning of the expression in itself and the second only reinforces it (for example, "klipp und clear", which means as much as completely clear , or "prim and proper" because alone already in the transferred meaning of "slick" well dressed can be used).

However, it is often difficult to distinguish it from tautology, as incomplete synonyms are also strung together and tonal, rhetorical or stylistic criteria often play a greater role in shaping a conceptual ranking, so that word meaning aspects can take a back seat or semantic inconsistencies are accepted. In the case of expressions that were originally in a special language, the components can often only be precisely distinguished in terms of their meaning by referring to historical or technical linguistic relationships of the context in which they were created, and they work like synonyms for today's user. Therefore, Hendiadyoin sometimes have a strongly tautological character. Particularly in legal language , hendiadyoin pair formulas often combine two closely related but historically or formally different terms into a topos .


  • in bulk (overall meaning "total, complete")
  • under one roof (from the carpentry trade; overall meaning "done")
  • rightly and rightly (overall meaning "with full authorization")
  • Fire and flame (overall meaning "enthusiastic")
  • curled and groomed (from horse care: "to snake" means the mane is provided with curls; overall meaning "dressed up")
  • healthy and lively (overall meaning "physically and mentally fit")
  • Belongings (overall meaning "all possessions / property ")
  • House and yard (residential and commercial property; overall meaning "livelihood")
  • Hinz and Kunz (overall meaning "everyone"; reference to Heinrich and Konrad as common first names)
  • criss-cross (overall meaning "messed up")
  • Kind und Kegel (originally a collective term for legitimate and illegitimate descendants = "all offspring")
  • crisp and clear (overall meaning "unambiguous")
  • Lies and deceit (overall meaning "malicious deception")
  • Murder and manslaughter (overall meaning "excessive violence")
  • Advice and action (legal pair formula "auxilium et consilium", describing the feudal man's duty to active and ideal support of the feudal lord; overall meaning "any form of support")
  • right and fair (legal pair formula "iuste et aeque", the general law and equity - individual justice - corresponding; overall meaning "right and appropriate")
  • Law and order (overall meaning "legal order")
  • with insult and shame (overall meaning "dishonorable")
  • at every turn (overall meaning "always and everywhere")
  • Good faith (legal pair formula, overall meaning "conscientious and without bad intentions")
  • Door and gate (overall meaning "all entrances")
  • Life and limb (overall meaning "concerning the whole person")
  • Rank and name (overall meaning "person of importance and notoriety")
  • Sound and smoke (overall meaning "not tangible and not visible")
  • Tuten and bubbles (overall meaning "comprehensive knowledge")
  • Yes and Amen (overall meaning "consent")
  • this and that (overall meaning "different")
  • Whims and moods (overall meaning "at will")
  • now and then (overall meaning "sometimes")
  • old and sick (overall meaning "decrepit")
  • in office and dignity (overall meaning "officiating")
  • fear and anxiety (overall meaning "fearful")

Tautological or difficult to distinguish from tautologies are:

  • Manner (strictly speaking, the nature of a thing is associated with an event)
  • unique (strictly speaking, conceptually distinguishable)
  • frank and free (apparent tautology, overall meaning "blunt")
  • Run and run (tautology)
  • Land (tautological legal expression, overall meaning " property ")
  • Help and assistance (legal pair formula, tautological as a result)
  • never and never (overall meaning "at no time", neither so far nor in the future)
  • Place and place (apparent tautology, overall meaning "exact place at the given place" or also "directly on site")
  • fully (tautological pleonasm )


English linguistics describes the special case of a fixed formula made up of three linguistic elements as hendiatris ("one through three times"). However, the term is rather uncommon in German, the more general term triplet formula is used here as a rule .


  • Wine, women and song
  • secretly, quietly and quietly
  • Jubilation, excitement, serenity
  • Bankruptcies, bad luck and mishaps
  • Peace, joy and pancakes
  • Nepper, tugboat, farmer catcher

"Hendiatetris", "Hendiatetrakis"

The special case of a fixed formula made up of four linguistic elements is referred to in Romance linguistics as hendiatetris [ˌhɛnˌdia'tɛˌtris] or hendiatetrakis [ˌhɛnˌdiaˌtɛ'traˌkis] ( Greek  ἓν διὰ τετράκις hen dia tetrákis "one through four times"). This expression is also uncommon in German, especially since there are hardly any examples of it in everyday German. A common example of a hendiatetrical quadruple formula would be “fresh, pious, happy, free” (with the overall meaning “at ease”).

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Hendiadyoin  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Hadumod Bußmann (Ed.): Lexicon of Linguistics. 3rd updated and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-520-45203-0 , p. 275.
  2. Marc Girard refers to the term "hendiatetris" in connection with the grouping acclamer, éclater, crier, jouer . In: Les Psaumes redécouverts: de la structure au sense . Bellarmin 1997, Vol. 1, p. 768.