Welcome to The Quote Garden!
“I dig old books.”
Est. 1998


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Quotations Glossary

Related Quotes      Quotations      Writing      Poetry      Books      Language

Hi y'all. Welcome to my glossary of words related to quotations, quote collecting, books, libraries, and literature. Feel free to browse what's here, but some of it is missing at the moment while I do a major update. I first put this page together nearly 20 years ago, so it's due time! I hope to have it finished soon. Thanks for visiting! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g

Abridged: (revision in progress)

AC: (revision in progress)

Adage: an old saying that has been popularly accepted as a truth; a saying often in metaphorical form that embodies a common observation. Example: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Æ, æ (ash): (revision in progress)

Air quotes: the action of using one's fingers to make quotation marks in the air during speech; often used to express some degree of satire, sarcasm, irony, or euphemism. According to Willis Goth Regier in Quotology, 2010, "An exchange in Science in 1926 led to familiar suggestions — use 'quote' and 'unquote,' or flex fingers in the air as 'clothespins,' kinetic quotation marks." The 9th season Friends episode "The One Where Emma Cries" has some funny scenes in which Joey uses air quotes incorrectly; it's quite hilarious IMHO.

Allusion: (revision in progress)

Almanac: (revision in progress)

-ana (suffix): (revision in progress)

Analecta: a collection of excerpts from a literary work.

Anecdote: (revision in progress)

Annotated: (revision in progress)

Annotation: (revision in progress)

Annual: (revision in progress)

Anonymous: unknown or unacknowledged authorship; sometimes abbreviated "anon." for anonymous or anonymously; "anon" without the period means "at another time" or "again"

Antanaclasis: repeating a single word but with a different meaning each time. This is a common type of pun and is often found in slogans. Example: "If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm." ~Vince Lombardi

Antimetabole: figure of emphasis in which the words in one phrase or clause are replicated, exactly or closely, in reverse grammatical order in the next phrase or clause. It is similar to chiasmus although chiasmus does not use repetition of the same words or phrases. Example: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." ~John F. Kennedy

Anthologist: (revision in progress)

Anthology: a collection of selected literary pieces or passages or works of art or music. Example sentence: The Quote Garden is the best online quotation anthology.

Antonomasia: (revision in progress)

Aperçu: (revision in progress)

Aphorism: a short, concise statement of a principle or a short, pointed sentence expressing a wise or clever observation or a general truth; a terse formulation of a truth or sentiment. According to James Geary in The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism, the five laws of aphorisms are: it must be brief, it must be definitive, it must be personal, it must have a twist, and it must be philosophical. Example: "Believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you see." ~Mark Twain

Aphorist: someone who formulates aphorisms.

Apocrypha: (revision in progress)

Apocryphal: (revision in progress)

Apologue: (revision in progress)

Apothegm: a short, pithy, and instructive saying or formulation; apothegms are more purposeful philosophical opinions than epithets. Example: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." ~Lord Acton

Appendix: (revision in progress)

Archaic: (revision in progress)

Archives: (revision in progress)

Asterism: (revision in progress)

Atavism: In biology, an atavism is an evolutionary throwback, a recurrence in an organism of a trait or character typical of its ancestral form, usually due to genetic recombination. But in reference to The Quote Garden, I provide it here because it also means recurrence of or reversion to a past style, manner, outlook, approach, or activity; a throwback. The quotations I harvest definitely make my website a throwback to the 19th century (a person or thing that is similar to someone or something from the past, or that is suited to an earlier time; one that is suggestive of or suited to an earlier time or style). Adjective: atavistic. Now, I do realize that atavism's connotation can sometimes read negatively, as in a relapse or regression, or reversion to the primitive, and that its antonym is progress. However, I take no heed — for me, my literary atavism is a good thing! And really, I tend to use "vintage" when describing beautiful centuries-past writings and "old soul" for my suitedness to an earlier time and style. I only provide this definition because it's an interesting word relating to past things.

Attributed: when used following the author's name in the citation of a quotation, it means regarded as belonging to, written or said by, etc.; to regard as characteristic of a person or thing. A quotation cited with an author's name followed by the word attributed was not necessarily said or written by that person but is commonly regarded as the author anyway because it seems to be in their style, something they would or could have said. The main point in cases of this type of attribution is that the citation of the author is either not certain or admittedly incorrect.

Attribution: the ascribing of a work (as of literature or art) to a particular author or artist.

Authoress: (revision in progress)

Axiom: a statement universally accepted as true; a maxim widely accepted on its intrinsic merit; an established rule or principle or a self-evident truth. Example: "Goods and services can be paid for only with goods and services."

Banned books: (revision in progress)

Bard: (revision in progress)

BC: (revision in progress)

BCE: (revision in progress)

Bibliobibuli: (revision in progress)

Bibliography: (revision in progress)

Bibliophagist: (revision in progress)

Bibliosmia: (revision in progress)

Bibliotheca: (revision in progress)

Bildungsroman: (revision in progress)

Blessing: (revision in progress)

Block quotation: (revision in progress)

Bon mot: a witticism, a clever or witty turn of phrase; a bon mot is a particularly well-turned phrase, distinguished more by wittiness than by profundity. Example: "Hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing whatever to do." ~Oscar Wilde

Book-bosomed: (revision in progress)

Bookworm: (revision in progress)

Borrowings: (revision in progress)

Bookplate: (revision in progress)

Bowdlerize: (revision in progress)

Bromide: informal term for a platitude that is especially dull, tiresome, or annoying; so often repeated it has lost its meaning.

Byline: (revision in progress)

Byword: a proverbial expression; proverb; often-used word or phrase.

&c.: The old-timey way of abbreviating "et cetera," or as most Americans know it, "etc." Meaning: and so on, and so forth. In publications from previous centuries we find it used frequently in book titles. Used as a way to avoid writing out an entire list of words, or to say "you get the drift." Example: The Book of Beauty: Comprising a Collection of Tales, Poems, &c. by L.E. Landon, 1833

Call number: (revision in progress)

Canon: (revision in progress)

Canto: (revision in progress)

Catchphrase: (revision in progress)

CE: (revision in progress)

Censored: (revision in progress)

Chiasmus: figure of speech in which two clauses are related to each other through a reversal of structures in order to make a larger point; the two clauses display inverted parallelism. The elements of a simple chiasmus are often labeled in the form A B B A, where the letters correspond to grammar, words, or meaning. In modern day, chiasmus is often used synonymously with antimetabole but in the classical sense of the word, chiasmus does not repeat the same words. Example: "By day the frolic, and the dance by night." ~Samuel Johnson

Chiastic quotation: see Chiasmus.

Chrestomathy: a selection of passages used to help learn a language; a volume of selected passages or stories of an author; a collection of choice literary passages, used especially as an aid in learning a subject; a selection of literary passages, usually by one author; a collection of selected literary passages, often by one author and especially from a foreign language, as an aid to learning. Examples: A Mencken Chrestomathy: His Own Selection of His Choicest Writing, by H.L. Mencken, or Chrestomathy of Classical Arabic Prose Literature, or Mummy: A Chrestomathy of Cryptology

Circa: Latin, literally meaning about; used to describe various dates that are uncertain; often abbreviated c. or ca.

Cite: (revision in progress)

Citation: the attribution of an author and source; a short note recognizing a source of information or of a quoted passage.

Classical: (revision in progress)

Cliché: an expression or idea that has become trite. Examples: "raining cats and dogs," "the pot calling the kettle black," "that's the way the cookie crumbles."

Common-place book: (revision in progress)

Compendium: (revision in progress)

Compilation: a collection of pre-existing materials and data so arranged to form a new original work under the law of copyright. The Quote Garden is an example of a compilation of quotations. [compiler, compiled]

Concordance: (revision in progress)

Context: the part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning; the circumstances in which an event occurs; a setting; the language, time, and place from which a quotation comes.

Contextomy: quoting out of context. This is a type of false attribution in which a passage is removed from its surrounding matter in such a way as to distort its intended meaning. The issue is not the removal of a quote from its original context (as all quotes are) per se but the quoter's decision to exclude from the excerpt certain nearby phrases or sentences that serve to clarify the intention. Editor's note:  I have not intentionally quoted out of context on this site; however, due to the use of visitor submissions, some of the quotes are likely used out of context. If you come across this type of error, please let me know and I'll correct the problem as soon as I can. Thank you!

Copyright: the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, and sell the matter and form (as of a literary, musical, or artistic work).

Copyright symbol: (revision in progress)

Corpus: (revision in progress)

Counterquote: (revision in progress)

Credo: (revision in progress)

Curmudgeon: "anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner" (source: Portable Curmudgeon Redux, Jon Winokur)

Desiderata: (revision in progress)

Dewey Decimal System: (revision in progress)

Dictum: a statement or saying, especially a formal statement of fact, opinion, principle, etc., or of one's will or judgment; a pronouncement; a noteworthy statement, as a formal pronouncement of a principle, proposition, or opinion, or an observation intended or regarded as authoritative.

Didactic literature: (revision in progress)

Dust jacket: (revision in progress)

Edition: (revision in progress)

Ellipsis: the omission from a sentence of a word or words that would be required for complete clarity but which can usually be understood from the context. The sequence of three dots (...) used to indicate the omission of some matter in a text.

En dash: (revision in progress)

End quote: (revision in progress)

Em dash: (revision in progress)

Epeolatry: (revision in progress)

Ephemera: (revision in progress)

Epic: (revision in progress)

Epigram: a terse, witty, pointed statement, often with a clever twist in thought, or a short poem with a witty or satirical point.

Epigraph: (revision in progress)

Epitaph: an inscription on a tombstone in memory of the one buried there; a brief literary piece commemorating a deceased person.

Epithet: (revision in progress)

Erratum: an act or thought that unintentionally deviates from what is correct, right, or true; an error in printing or writing, especially such an error noted in a list of corrections and bound into a book; plural is errata.

Essay: (revision in progress)

Et al: (1) used as an abbreviation of et alii (masculine plural) or et aliae (feminine plural) or et alia (neutral plural) when referring to a number of people, et al., and others;  (2) used as an abbreviation of et alibi when referring to other occurrences in a text, et al., and elsewhere.

Etymology: (revision in progress)

Euphemism: (revision in progress)

Excerpt: a passage (as from a book or musical composition) selected, performed, or copied.

Exclamation comma: (revision in progress)

Ex libris: (revision in progress)

Expression: (revision in progress)

Extract: a passage from a literary work.

Facetia: (revision in progress)

Fair dealing: a doctrine of limitations and exceptions to copyright which is found in many of the common law jurisdictions of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Fair use: in the USA, a use of copyrighted material that does not constitute an infringement of the copyright provided the use is fair and reasonable and does not substantially impair the value of the work or the profits expected from it by its owner; among the factors determining if use of a copyrighted work is a fair use are the purpose of the use, the character of the use (commercial vs educational), the nature of the copyrighted work, and the amount of the work used.

Famous non-quotation: a well-known phrase attributed to someone who, in fact, did not say it; this may be due to (1) parody or satire of the original, (2) a corruption or mistranslation of the original phrase, possibly accidental, which became better known than the original, (3) a deliberate misquoting or made-up quote intended to discredit the alleged speaker, or (4)  attribution to a well-known person to improve the appearance of the phrase or the person.

Fils: used to distinguish a son from his father when they have the same given name.

Flyleaf: an empty page at the beginning or end of a book; one of the free endpapers of a book; plural: flyleaves; The flyleaf that is pasted down to the cover is called an endpaper, or endsheet. The paper pasted to the inside cover is the most common place to find the owner's name inscribed.

Florilegia: (revision in progress)

Folio: (revision in progress)

Folklore: (revision in progress)

Font: Sometimes you'll hear about the controversy of people mixing up the terms 'font' and 'typeface.' The best article I've found to clear things up is by John Brownlee — Click here to read it at fastcodesign.com. "Typestyle refers to variations in the thickness and stroke, such as light, bold, italic, that lend flexibility and emphasis in the appearance of characters constituting a typeface." (Source: businessdictionary.com) See my page of Quotations about Writing for some vintage quotes on fonts and typeface. "I'm a sucker for a good font." ~The Middle, "The 100th," 2013, written by David S. Rosenthal, spoken by the character Brick Heck

Footnotes: (revision in progress)

Gender-neutral language: (revision in progress)

Genre: (revision in progress)

Gnome: a pithy saying that expresses a general truth or fundamental principle.

Gnomology: (revision in progress)

Ibid (ibidem): an abbreviation for ibidem, a Latin word meaning in the same place; it is used in footnotes and bibliographies to refer to a source cited in a previous entry.

Id (idem): (revision in progress)

Idiom: an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up, i.e. cannot be translated literally. Examples: "under the weather," "kick the bucket."

Incunabula: (revision in progress)

Inkpot: (revision in progress)

Intellectual property: (revision in progress)

Interrobang: (revision in progress)

Inverted commas: (revision in progress)

Journal: (revision in progress)

Laconic: (revision in progress)

Latin: (revision in progress)

Laughorisms: humorous aphorisms, a term coined by Ambrose Bierce.

Leaf: a sheet of paper in a book; commonly referred to as a "page," but a page is only one side of a leaf. Plural: leaves. (acaeum.com)

Lecture: (revision in progress)

Lexicon: (revision in progress)

Library of Congress: (revision in progress)

Literary: of, relating to, or dealing with literature.

Literature: (revision in progress)

Loco citato: at the place quoted, from the same place; abbreviated loc. cit. Although really it sounds like a person who's crazy about quoting, like me, but it's not :)

Malapropism: (revision in progress)

Manuscript (MS, MSS): (revision in progress)

Margins: (revision in progress)

Maxim: a concisely expressed principle or rule of conduct, or a statement of a general truth; a saying of proverbial nature.

Media: (revision in progress)

Meditations: (revision in progress)

Misattributed: incorrect attribution of a source.

Miscellany: incorrect attribution of a source.

Misquotation: an accidental or intentional misrepresentation of a person's speech or writing; this usually involves omission of important context, omission of important parts of the quote, insertion of allegedly implied words or partial sentences, incorrect rephrasing, misattribution, or misspelling; misquotation can be due to imperfect reproduction, misunderstanding, malice, deliberate deceit, humor, or satire.

Motto: a short expression of a guiding principle or ideal of behavior; a sentence, phrase, or word inscribed on something as appropriate to or indicative of its character or use. Example: "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time." ~Motto of the Baltimore Grotto, a caving society

Née: born, indicates the maiden name of a married woman; formerly known as.

No date (nd): No publication date is printed in the book

Nom de plume: (revision in progress)

Octavo: (revision in progress)

Ode: (revision in progress)

Opere citato: from the work already quoted; used to provide an endnote or footnote citation to refer the reader to an earlier citation; abbreviated op. cit.; also known as opus citatum.

Oratio directa: Latin, the language of anyone quoted without change in its form, i.e. a direct quote.

Out of print: (revision in progress)

Oxford comma: (revision in progress)

Paraemiography: (revision in progress)

Paraphrase: a restating of something in other, especially simpler, words.

Paraprosdokian: figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe the first part. Example: "Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana." ~Author unknown, combination of two phrases used by Anthony Oettinger, commonly attributed to Groucho Marx

Paratext: (revision in progress)

Parody: (revision in progress)

Paronomasia: (revision in progress)

Parts: (revision in progress)

Passage: a usually brief portion of a written work or speech that is relevant to a point under discussion or noteworthy for content or style.

Passim: notation for everywhere, in many places; indicates that there are so many references that the list would be too long.

Pathos: (revision in progress)

Pen name: (revision in progress)

Periodical: (revision in progress)

Phrase: a brief, apt, and cogent expression; a word or group of words forming a unit and conveying meaning.

Phrasedick: (revision in progress)

Pithy: (revision in progress)

Plagiarism: literary theft; when a writer duplicates another writer's language or ideas and then calls the work his own; to avoid the charge of plagiarism, writers take care to credit those from whom they borrow and quote.

Platitude: a banal or stale remark; a commonplace or trite remark or idea, especially one uttered as if it were original or momentous.

Play on words: (revision in progress)

Poesy: (revision in progress)

Poet: (revision in progress)

Poetic diction: (revision in progress)

Poetic license: (revision in progress)

Political correctness: (revision in progress)

Polygraphy: a device for producing copies of a drawing or of writing (polygrapher, polygraphist, polygraphic); cryptography; literary productiveness or versatility

Posthumously: (revision in progress)

Primary source: (revision in progress)

Prose: ordinary speech or writing, without metrical structure. Basically, regular writing, not poetry.

Prosody: (revision in progress)

Proverb: a short, traditional saying that expresses some obvious truth or familiar experience; a piece of practical wisdom expressed in homely, concrete terms; a short pithy saying in general use, usually of unknown and ancient origin, containing words of advice, warning, or wisdom. Example: "If you kick a stone in anger, you'll hurt your own foot." ~Korean Proverb

Pseudonym: (revision in progress)

Publication: (revision in progress)

Public domain: the status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright. One of the most awesome examples of the use of public domain is what Google Books has done to bring ancient gems back to life! They have made it exceptionally easy to research old quotations and find "new" old quotes as well, from the original books of centuries past. A fantastic public service to make available this free and extensive online digital library, and I am eternally grateful!

Pun: the humorous use of words, playing on similarities in sound or differences in meaning. Example: "Beginning gardeners work by trowel and error."

Quarto: (revision in progress)

Question comma: (revision in progress)

Quip: (revision in progress)

Quotable: suitable for or worthy of quoting.

Quotation: a reproduction or repeating of any passage or statement; a passage referred to, repeated, or adduced; direct citation of the exact phraseology of a person or of a text.

Quotation anthologist: (revision in progress)

Quotation mark (quote marks): either of a pair of punctuation marks used primarily to mark the beginning and end of a passage attributed to another and repeated word for word, but also to indicate meanings or glosses and to indicate the unusual or dubious status of a word.

Quotatious: (revision in progress)

Quote: v., to repeat or copy the words of, usually with acknowledgment of the source; n., shortened and informal version of the word quotation.

Quote, unquote: (revision in progress)

Quotee: n., person to whom a quotation is attributed.

Quotemeister: n., person who quotes.

Quotemistress: me!

Quoter: n., person who quotes.

Quotesmith: n., person who quotes.

Quotographer: (revision in progress)

Quotologist: (revision in progress)

Quotology: (revision in progress)

Recto: (revision in progress)

Reference: (revision in progress)

Refrain: (revision in progress)

Re-issue: (revision in progress)

Rerum memorandarum libri: (revision in progress)

Romanticism: (revision in progress)

Saw: an old, homely saying that is well worn by repetition.

Saying: a usually pithy and familiar statement expressing an observation or principle generally accepted as wise or true.

Secondary source: (revision in progress)

Sententia: (revision in progress)

Serial: (revision in progress)

Serial comma: (revision in progress)

Sermon: (revision in progress)

Shibboleth: (revision in progress)

Sic: used to indicate that a quoted passage, especially one containing an error or unconventional spelling, has been retained in its original form or written intentionally.

Silva rerum: (revision in progress)

Soliloquy: (revision in progress)

Slogan: (revision in progress)

Song (lyric poem): (revision in progress)

Soundbite: (revision in progress)

Source: a firsthand document or primary reference work; place in which a quotation can be verified, or where a quotation came from — e.g. an author, a book or a speech.

Spine: (revision in progress)

Spoonerism: (revision in progress)

Spurious: (revision in progress)

Stanza: (revision in progress)

Style: (revision in progress)

Subtitle: (revision in progress)

Syntax: (revision in progress)

Tag: a brief quotation used for rhetorical emphasis or sententious effect; a recurrent or characteristic verbal expression.

Tag line: an ornamental, instructive, or strikingly effective ending for a speech, story, etc.; sometimes a short, familiar quotation used as such an ending; a final line (as in a play or joke), especially one that serves to clarify a point or create a dramatic effect; a reiterated phrase identified with an individual, group, or product.

Tertiary source: (revision in progress)

Text: (revision in progress)

Title page: (revision in progress)

Toast: (revision in progress)

Transcendentalism: (revision in progress)

Translated: rendered from another language and therefore not the original words. It is nice to note when a quotation has been translated from another language, as it almost always changes the meaning even in a minor way. It is even better to indicate the original language and translator name as well.

Treasury: (revision in progress)

Tricks of phrase: (revision in progress)

Truism: a statement the truth of which is obvious or well known and whose utterance, therefore, seems superfluous; an undoubted or self-evident truth, especially one too obvious for mention.

Typeface: see Font

Typescript: (revision in progress)

Typewriter: (revision in progress)

Unabridged: (revision in progress)

Unpaginated (unpag): (revision in progress)

Variorum: (revision in progress)

Verbum dicendi: in a sentence, a word that expresses speech, introduces a quotation, or marks a transition to non-standard or non-grammatical speech; also known as declaratory word or quotative.

Verse: (revision in progress)

Verso: (revision in progress)

Victorian: (revision in progress)

Vignette: (revision in progress)

Vintage: (revision in progress)

Volume: (revision in progress)

Wellerism: (revision in progress)

Wit: (revision in progress)

Witling: (revision in progress)

Witticism: a smart saying, notable for its form rather than content.

Wordplay: (revision in progress)

Works: (revision in progress)

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language,ahdictionary.com
Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms, oxfordreference.com
Merriam-Webster Online, www.merriam-webster.com
North West Learning Grid Know-It-All, www.baileytraining.co.uk/resources/knowitall
Quotology by Willis Goth Regier, www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/Quotology,674650.aspx
WordNet by Princeton University Cognitive Science Laboratory, wordnet.princeton.edu
Or as otherwise noted, with commentary by yours truly. –[terrig]

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Last modified 2015 Nov 21 Sat 12:50 PST

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