What is the use of alliteration

Examples of alliteration

The alliteration is a stylistic device that appears in numerous texts and is often used in advertising and in the media. Alliteration is characterized by the fact that it describes a sequence of words in which all words have the same initial sound. A special form is the tautogram, whereby not only the initial sound is the same or an accumulation can be observed, but all initial letters within a text are identical.

In this post you will find a collection of examples and Example sentences for alliteration. Such example alliterations are helpful to clarify the difference between pure alliteration and the tautogram and to understand the style figure as such.

Note: In German lessons, alliteration is usually not treated separately from the special form of the tautograph. In order to take this into account, you will find a note above the respective examples as to whether it is a pure alliteration or a tautogram.

Example: alliteration & tautogram

Milk perks up tired men.

This saying is an advertising slogan of the West German dairy industry and dates from the 1950s. All five words begin with the same initial letter, the "M", which is why the sentence can be clearly identified as a tautogram.
Example: Alliteration & Hendiadyoin

I am fire and flame for you in wind and weather!

The above sentence is fictitious and is intended only as an example of alliteration. Here we are dealing with two alliterative expressions, each of which can be referred to as an alliteration (colored markings). Furthermore, there is a Hendiadyoin in both phrases.
Example: alliteration & tautogram & climax

This famous saying is attributed to Julius Caesar and means "I came, saw and conquered". However, this beautiful example of alliteration can no longer be found in the German translation, which is shown in Latin by the initial repetition of the letter "V". Furthermore, we can identify this sentence as a tautogram and climax.
Example: alliteration & tautogram

Fisher's Fritz is fishing fresh fishes,
Fischers Fritz fishes fresh fish.

Most people are probably already familiar with this phrase. Nevertheless, it is a straightforward alliteration based on the letter "F". By the way, most tongue twisters are very nice examples of alliteration, as the constant repetition of individual syllables increases the difficulty. The above example is also a tautograph, since all initial letters are identical.

Alliterative verse with the same stem syllables and different letters

The early bird catches the worm

This saying is the first sentence in this overview that differs greatly from the other examples. Here we are not dealing with a tautogram, but with an alliterative concatenation that has the same stem syllables and yet different letters. This becomes clearer if we express the sentence phonetically: deɐ‘fʁy: ə‘foːgl‘fɛŋtthe worm.

Alliterative verse with the same stem syllables and different letters

An old grandpa and two old grandmas.

This example is another alliteration where there are no identical initial letters, but only identical stem syllables. In this case, too, a phonetic notation makes it clear what is meant: ʔaɛn‘ʔaltɐ‘ʔoːpaːand two old grandmas.

More loose alliteration examples: House and yard; clearly; short and sweet; criss-cross; fresh, pious, happy, free; Donner and Doria; between tree and bark; have a long line; Night-and-fog action; to beat someone up like a diaper.

Alliterative examples in the media and Ü-Ei figures

The Bild newspaper and other media that rely on short, concise headlines, but also the well-known surprise egg figures often show alliterative features.

If you take a closer look at the surprise egg figures from the series "Happy Hippos in Fitness Fever" by Ferrero, you will see that all figures have an alliterative combination of names. We can of course find similar examples in Walt Disney's universe when we look at Scrooge and Donald Duck or Daniel Düstentrieb and Klaas Klever think.

But the press, just like advertising, is not stingy with alliteration. Because alliterative headlines are sometimes very memorable and also tend to be comical. Let's take a look at a headline from the Bild newspaper from 2006.

Here we are dealing with a fourfold alliterationwhich is also reinforced by the very frequent use of the letter "I". Such language gadgets can be seen quite often in the Bild-Zeitung, whereby we can primarily see corruption of prominent personalities as alliterative headlines (example: "Boris Bum-Bum Becker"). The Bild-Zeitung is also characterized by many parataxes (see main sentence chains).

Notes on the alliterative examples

We hope that these different examples have made it clear to you what alliteration is all about. Of course, alliterative verses are quite easy to recognize and, along with personification, are certainly one of the clearest stylistic devices in literary texts.

  • There are three different types of alliteration. Either all letters within a text are the same (tautogram) or there is an accumulation of the same initial letters in neighboring words or the stem syllables are the same, even if the initial letters of the words are different.
  • Such alliterative sentences are very often used in the Advertising and press used because they sound sensational on the one hand and appear very, very memorable on the other, which is why we can often find them in nursery rhymes.
  • Furthermore, the alliteration in German is as Alliteration known.