Ploce: Definition and Examples

Doctor applying band-aid on girls arm in medical practice
The slogan "I am stuck on Band-Aid, and Band-Aid's stuck on me" is an example of ploce. Westend61 / Getty Images

Ploce (pronounced PLO-chay) is a rhetorical term for the repetition of a word or name, often with a different sense, after the intervention of one or more other words. Also known as copulatio.

Ploce may also refer to (1) repetition of the same word under different forms (also known as polyptoton), (2) repetition of a proper name, or (3) any repetition of a word or phrase broken up by other words (also known as diacope).

From the Greek, "weaving, plaiting"


  • "I am stuck on Band-Aid, and Band-Aid's stuck on me."
    (advertising slogan)
  • "I know what's going on. I may be from Ohio, but I'm not from Ohio."
    (Heather Graham as Daisy in Bowfinger, 1999)
  • "The future is no place to place your better days."
    (Dave Matthews, "Cry Freedom")
  • "If it wasn't in Vogue, it wasn't in vogue."
    (promotional slogan for Vogue magazine)
  • "First she ruins my life. And then she ruins my life!"
    (Maggie O'Connell, on her mother, in Northern Exposure)
  • "When you look good, we look good."
    (Vidal Sassoon advertising slogan)
  • "We'll be over, we're coming over,
    And we won't come back till it's over
    Over there."
    (George M. Cohan, "Over There," 1917)
  • "Give me a break! Give me a break! Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!
    (advertising jingle)
  • "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."
  • "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
    (Chief Justice John Roberts, June 28, 2007)
  • "Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent."
    (Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook. Bobbs-Merrill, 1963)
  • "The best surprise is no surprise at all."
    (advertising slogan of Holiday Inn)
  • Ploce in Shakepeare's Twelfth Night
    Maria: By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o' nights. Your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.
    Sir Toby Belch: Why, let her except, before excepted.
    Maria: Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest limits of order.
    Sir Toby Belch: Confine? I’ll confine myself no finer than I am. These clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be these boots too. An they be not, let them hang themselves in their own straps.
    (William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act One, scene 3)


  • Arthur Quinn on Ploce
    "A particular species of antanaclasis is the ploce, by which one moves between a more particular meaning of a word and a more general one, such as when one uses a proper name to designate both an individual and then the general qualities which that person is thought to possess. In Romans Paul warns, 'They are not all Israel, which are of Israel.' James Joyce, in a somewhat different spirit, comments on those who are 'more Irish than the Irish.' And Timon the misanthrope is asked in Shakespeare's play about him, 'Is man so hateful to thee / That art thyself a man?' I probably should not have included ploce as a separate figure, much too specific by half. But I couldn't resist it because of the English translation one handbook suggested: 'word folding.'"
    (Arthur Quinn, Figures of Speech: 60 Ways to Turn a Phrase. Gibbs Smith, 1982)
  • Jeanne Fahnestock on Ploce
    "[T]he figure ploce epitomizes arguments based on the same form of a word appearing again and again in an argument. Ploce . . . designates the intermittent or unpatterned reappearance of a word, within or across several sentences. . . . A straightforward example can be found in Lyndon Johnson's speech justifying sending troops into the Dominican Republic in 1965 by claiming the agreement of the Organization of American States: 'This is and this will be a common action and the common purpose of the democratic forces of the hemisphere. For the danger is also a common danger and the principles are common principles" (Windt 1983, 78). In its four appearances, the adjective common links the countries of the Western Hemisphere in action, purpose, danger, and principles."
    (Jeanne Fahnestock, Rhetorical Style: The Uses of Language in Persuasion. Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • Brian Vickers on Ploce in Shakespeare's King Richard the Third
    "Ploce is one of the most used figures of stress (especially in [King Richard the Third]), repeating a word within the same clause or line:
    . . . themselves the conquerors,
    Make war upon themselves--brother to brother--
    Blood to blood, self against self. (II, iv, 61-63)
    Epizeuxis is a more acute form of ploce, where the word is repeated without any other word intervening."
    (Brian Vickers, "Shakespeare's Use of Rhetoric." A Reader in the Language of Shakespearean Drama: Essays, ed. by Vivian Salmon and Edwina Burness. John Benjamins, 1987)
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Your Citation
Nordquist, Richard. "Ploce: Definition and Examples." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Nordquist, Richard. (2021, February 16). Ploce: Definition and Examples. Retrieved from Nordquist, Richard. "Ploce: Definition and Examples." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 29, 2023).