All Words > Amphigory

illustration Amphigory

Amphigory

[AM-fi-gohr-ee]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, 18th century

1.

Nonsense verse that appears at first hearing to have meaning, but which reveals itself to be meaningless under scrutiny.

Examples of Amphigory in a sentence

"Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky” is an amphigory that sounds like regular English, until one examines its nonsense words in detail."

"I was struggling to understand my poetry assignment, until a friend told me it was an amphigory and couldn’t be understood."

Popularity Over Time

Popularity over time graph
illustration Amphigory

About Amphigory

“Amphigory” comes from the French “amphigouri,” which is based on the prefix “amphi-,” from the Greek “ἀμϕι” meaning “both sides.” The basis for “-gory” is unknown, but may be connected with the Greek “ηγορία,” meaning “speech.”

Did you Know?

A well-known amphigory is found in the closing credits of 1980s sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati.” Musician Jim Ellis wrote music for a song to play over the end credits, but didn’t yet have words prepared, so in an early demo he sang gibberish over the hard-rock backing track and was surprised to discover it sounded effective. At a time when critics complained rock vocals were becoming unintelligible, the meaningless syllables belted over the closing credits of “WKRP” were a joke of their own.

Recent Words

What's the word?