One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A figure of speech in which a word applies to two others in different senses (e.g. John and his driving licence expired last week).Compare with syllepsis
- ‘He knew what a zeugma is, and had strong, informed views on the semicolon.’
- ‘We demonstrate how it contributes to the creation of zeugma and the non-availability of crossed readings.’
- ‘If they're both just examples of zeugma, why is that?’
Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek, from zeugnunai ‘to yoke’; related to zugon ‘yoke’.
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