Wednesday Writing Word: Antimetabole

English has a lot of words.  It has words for things you may not necessarily think there would be words for – particularly when it comes to language itself.

But words are fun, right?  Of course they are!  So, I thought I’d do a series on obscure linguistic and rhetoric terms.  If one or more of them are new to you, then the next time you use a particular device, you’ll…realize that…it’s a thing?

Anyway, let’s get started.


/ˌæntɨməˈtæbəli/  |  AN-tih-meh-TAB-o-lee


Antimetabole is the reversal of a phrase when recast in a subsequent clause.  Sometimes used for poetic emphasis or humor, sometimes merely for reflection.  Think Yakov Smirnoff jokes.



  • In knowing that the slog hates you, so should you hate the slog.
  • The slog lives to fail, and in doing so fails to live.


Antimetabole.  Use it.


Bene scribete.


One response to “Wednesday Writing Word: Antimetabole

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Writing Word: Anadiplosis | Writin' Fish


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