January 13th, 2012

Tenpou - Not by the book
  • chomiji

Feature - Writing Tips: Epithets Redux

A fair number of you are probably thinking "Huh? FG is going to tell us about calling people names?" In fact, we're going to do exactly that!

However, we don't mean "hurling epithets," as Ichigo and Renji are doing here:

"You jerk!" shouted Ichigo. "Whose idea was this, anyway?"

"Yours, you idiot," growled Renji.

This is actually a secondary definition for the word epithet: "a disparaging or abusive word or phrase " (Webster's). No, what we're going to discuss here is the more classical use of the word: "a characterizing word or phrase accompanying or occurring in place of the name of a person or thing."

There's an excellent chance you've come across these kinds of epithets, especially in fanfiction. For example:

"Matsumoto, you're offering me ... what kind of a drink?" said Ichigo, frowning.

The buxom blonde Soul Reaper sighed: "Why do people always think I'm trying to get them drunk?"
"There's a lovely moon tonight," said Shunsui to Ukitake; "and I have some very fine sake."

"You know I don't need excuses to spend some time with you," replied the grey-haired man.
"You don't need to treat me like your little fangirl any more," said Soi Fon coldly. The darkly feline woman raised a sardonic eyebrow at her.

With help from the cast of the manga and anime Bleach

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