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Epithet Examples

An epithet is a figure of speech that is quite commonly used, but is considered to be poor writing choice, as most often it doesn't relate to the action at hand. It can be described as a glorified nickname. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, objects, and binomial nomenclature. It can also be a descriptive title: for example, Alexander the Great or Suleiman the Magnificent. Epithets were widely used in earlier times to help the reader visualize the characters and bring color and vividness to the narrative. They were more prevalent in epic poems and writings, where proper names and nouns were bolstered with an adjective for a more dramatic and descriptive effect. Even now, it is more suitable to use epithets in poems to convey vivid imagery in fewer words.

However, in contemporary usage, epithets often have a negative, abusive, defamatory, or derogatory connotation, such as a racial epithet. Here are some examples of various types of epithets:
- Epithet in literature: "The earth is crying-sweet, And scattering-bright the air, Eddying, dizzying, closing round, With soft and drunken laughter..." - In 'Beauty and Beauty' by Rupert Brooke

- Derogatory epithet: "You sniveling son of a wallowing wart hog."
- Homeric epithet: "Aineias - Leader of the Trojans, lord of men, great-hearted, son of Anchises, and counselor of the Trojans."

- Epithet for deities: "Ares, Curse of men, brazen, monstrous, sacker of cities, of the glinting helmet, and raging."
Rosaceae.
Meaning: Rose.
Specific
Fragaria Virginiana.
Meaning: Wild Strawberry.
Specific
Acer Saccharum.
Meaning: Sugar Maple Tree.
Specific
Proboscidea.
Meaning: Elephant.
Specific
Suidae.
Meaning: Pig
Specific
Poaceae.
Meaning: Grass.
Specific
Ursus Arctos.
Meaning: Polar Bear.
Specific
Reptilia.
Meaning: Reptiles.
Specific
Panthera Leo.
Meaning: Lion.
Specific
Homo Sapiens.
Meaning: Human beings.
Specific
Polack.
Meaning: (Primarily US) a Pole or a person of Polish or Slavic origin, from the Polish endonym, Polak (see Name of Poland). Note: the proper Swedish demonym for Polish people is polack and the Norwegian equivalent is polakk.
Racial
Camel Jockey.
Meaning: People of Middle Eastern descent.
Racial
Jap.
Meaning: (US, especially during World War II) a Japanese soldier or national, or anyone of Japanese descent. Also an acronym for Jewish-American Princess.
Racial
Guido.
Meaning: (US) An Italian-American male. Derives from the Italian given name, Guido. Used mostly in the Northeastern United States as a stereotype for working-class urban Italian-Americans.
Racial
Abbie, Abe, and Abie.
Meaning: (North America) a Jewish male. From the proper name Abraham. Originated before the 1950s.
Racial
Cracker.
Meaning: (US) a poor Appalachian or poor Southerner, a white person, first used in the 19th century.
Racial
Honky also spelled "honkey" or "honkie."
Meaning: (US) a white person. Derived from an African-American pronunciation of "hunky", the disparaging term for a Hungarian laborer. The first record of its use as an insulting term for a white person dates from the 1950s.
Racial
Chink.
Meaning: (US, UK) people of Chinese or East Asian descent.
Racial
Buddhahead.
Meaning: US) an Asian; Also used by mainland Japanese Americans to refer to Hawaiian Japanese Americans since World War II.[
Racial
Epithet Meaning
Epithet is a figure of speech that is quite commonly used, but is considered to be poor writing choice, as most often it doesn't relate to the action at hand. They were more prevalent in epic poems and writings, where proper names and nouns were bolstered with an adjective for a more dramatic and descriptive effect. The epithet is used to denote a certain characteristic in a person or a thing, which the reader can identify with.
Epithet Examples
So hows our future little National Debtor today?