Hyperbola (language)

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Domenico Fetti : Parable of the splinter and beam , 1619
The "snail's pace" - an exaggeration in everyday language

In linguistics , the rhetorical stylistic device of exaggeration is called hyperbola . The associated adjective is hyperbolic . The opposite of hyperbola is understatement . In ancient Greek, hyperbola means ὑπερβολή hyperbolé , German means 'surpassing, exaggeration' from ὑπερβάλλειν throw hyperballs over the target ".

In literary writings, the hyperbola is often used as an extreme, in the literal sense mostly implausible or even impossible exaggeration for the representation or emphasis of the extraordinary or extraordinary. Metaphors or made comparisons are often used. In rhetoric, the hyperbola is counted among the tropics .


Quotes from literature

Examples from the Bible

  • “So why do you look at the splinter in your brother's eye, but ignore the log in your own eye?” ( Mt 7,3  EU ), see On the splinter and the log
  • “A camel is more likely to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” ( Mk 10.25  EU ), see parable of the eye of a needle
  • "You blinded leaders who sieve out mosquitoes, but swallow camels!" ( Mt 23.24  EU )

Words and phrases

  • dead tired
  • lightning fast
  • Snail's pace
  • infinitely long
  • like sand at the ocean
  • a sea of ​​tears

See also

Individual evidence

  1. hyperbola . Duden online
  2. hyperbolic . Duden online
  3. Heike Gfrereis (Ed.): Hyperbel . In: Heike Gfrereis (ed.): Basic concepts of literary studies ; Metzler , Stuttgart and Weimar 1999, ISBN 978-3-476-10320-8 , p. 86.