Paraprosdokian Examples


Paraprosdokian comes from the Greek language, means "beyond expectations." It is a term for an unexpected turn toward the end of a phrase, sentence, stanza, or paragraph. When a writer has used paraprosdokian, the unexpected shift in meaning toward the end of a sentence, stanza, or paragraph often causes the reader to have to rethink what has come before. Paraprosdokian often plays on the meaning of words, and creates a humorous effect.

Examples of Paraprosdokian:

From Winston Churchill:

"You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing-after they have tried everything else."

From Will Rogers:

"A fool and his money are soon elected."

From Emo Phillips:

"When I was 10, I beat up the school bully. His arms were in casts. That's what gave me the courage."

From Groucho Marx:

"She got her good looks from her father; he's a plastic surgeon."

Also from Groucho Marx:

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it.

From Mitch Hedberg:

"I haven't slept for ten days because that would be too long."

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