Antiphrasis Rhetorical Device

chihuahuaAntiphrasis is a figure of speech in which a phrase or word is opposite to its literal meaning in order to create an ironic or comic effect.  Examples:

“The Chihuahua’s name is Goliath.”

“The actress was a mere babe of forty years.”

“Get in, little man,” he told his six foot tall friend.

Antiphrasis surprises people, making them stop and think what is really meant. It can be used in sarcasm, reversing something to show the intended meaning.

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