Alliteration is a literary stylistic technique in which words that are adjacent or next to each other begin with the same sound. Thus, the words repeat the same initial consonant sound which makes them sound rhythmic and melodious. Case in point, the title of this article! The repetitive ‘ah’ sound makes the title more appealing, eye (ear?) catching, and fun!

Alliteration is focused on the sounds of letters and not on the letters themselves. That’s why, ‘Philip’s feet’ is an alliteration and ‘cheerful cop’ isn’t.

Unlike other literary devices which mostly use imagination to induce a feeling, alliteration on the other hand, relies on sound. Even though it is usually used in poetry, it is not just limited to it. Alliteration can be used in speeches and stories to emphasize on certain words and divert the reader’s attention toward specific ideas and to form an atmosphere to complement the words being read or heard.

There is no particular rule about how many words spacing there should be between the repeating sounds in an alliterative piece of text. A good rule of thumb is that when the text is read out loud, you should be able to spot a repetition of sounds.

Alliteration can be found in popular phrases in pop culture to advertisement jingles and more. Check out the following alliterations to get a better understanding of this wonderful strategy that you can adopt to easily enhance your writing. Notice how the alliteration makes all the difference and makes them memorable.

Alliterations in famous slogans

1. Chai pe Charcha

2. Maybe it’s Maybelline

3. Parle G - G for Genius

4. Amool Kool - Chill Your Dil!

Alliterations in tongue twisters

1. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

2. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

3. Betty Butter bought a bit of butter, but she said, this butter's bitter; if I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter, but a bit of better butter will make my bitter batter better.

4. ಸಂಪಂಗಪ್ಪನ ಮಗ ಮರಿಸಂಪಂಗಪ್ಪ.ಮರಿಸಂಪಂಗಪ್ಪನ ಅಪ್ಪ ಸಂಪಂಗಪ್ಪ.

5. ಬಂಕಾಪುರದ ಕಪ್ಪು ಕುಂಕುಮ.ಬಂಕಾಪುರದ ಕೆಂಪು ಕುಂಕುಮ.

6. खड़क सिंह के खड़कने से खड़कती हैं खिड़कियां, खिड़कियों के खड़कने से खड़कता है खड़क सिंह.

7. पीतल के पतीले में पपीता पीला-पीला

8. ऊंचा ऊंट, ऊंट की पीठ ऊंची, ऊंची पूंछ ऊंट की.

9. ஆடுற கிளையில ஒரு கிளை தனிக்கிளை, தனிக்கிளை தனில் வந்த கனிகளும் இனிக்கல

10. கொக்கு நெட்ட கொக்கு, நெட்ட கொக்கு இட்ட முட்ட கட்ட முட்ட

11. யாரு தைச்ச சட்டை, இது எங்க தாத்தா தைச்ச சட்டை

Alliteration in similes

1. Dead as a doornail

2. Busy as a bee

3. Right as rain

4. Red as a rose

5. Cool as a cucumber

Alliteration in movie titles

1. Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham

2. Andaz Apna Apna

3. Om Shanti Om

4. Satyam Shivam Sundaram

5. John Jani Janardhan

Alliteration in brand names

1. PayPal

2. Hero Honda

3. Coca-Cola

4. Dunkin’ Donuts

5. Krispy Kreme

Famous alliterative names

1. William Wordsworth

2. Kishore Kumar

3. Sushma Swaraj

4. Gita Gopinath

5. Anil Ambani

6. Charlie Chaplin

Alliterative names of fictional characters

1. Shikari Shambhu

2. Chacha Chaudhry

3. Donald Duck

4. Spongebob Squarepants

5. Petu Pumpkin

Alliteration in poetry

One of the most famous poems to feature alliteration is Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” (1845):
You can see how the author uses alliteration on just a pair of words in every sentence to create rhythm.

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before."

Alliteration may be used in many areas and is great to use in shorter pieces of writing, like poetry or flash fiction, where sound and language have an emphatic importance. In something longer, like a full novel, it might seem accidental or out-of-place. It’s important to not overuse alliteration and to also consider the tone you are trying to convey before using it. Also, the best way to add alliteration to your writing is after finishing the writing piece. It’s usually easier to edit writing to be what you’d like it to be than it is to write it that way in the first go.

So, are you ready to attack alliteration and give your wonderful writing a new exciting edge?


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