A Sunday Question More Fun Than A Barrel With A Single, Lonely Monkey In It!

May 5, 2013


So the other day I was explaining hyperbole to someone.  I said, “For example, ‘I will love you ‘til the seas run dry.’ Gross overstatement for effect.”  The person said, “Oh, of course – because of the prefix ‘hyper.’” And said that I supposed then you could also use hypobole – gross understatement for effect.  You know, as in trying to make someone understand how deeply you love them by saying, “I will love you ‘til it’s slightly inconvenient.”  Now that’s romance!

understatementThen I had to go to the Immediate Care Center because I dislocated my shoulder patting myself on the back for my incredible cleverness.

Now, I accept there’s the possibility that you, dear byromaniacs, don’t find the concept of hypobole as unbearably hilarious as I do. But you’d be missing out.  Think of the possibilities!

Communicating in an entire new way: “Oh man, I haven’t eaten anything all day.  I swear, I’m so hungry I could nibble on a handful of crackers.”

Colorful descriptions: “Whoa, did you see the size of that guy?  He’s built like a brick or two!”

The whole new range of hypobolic “Yo’ Mama” insults: “Yo mama’s so dumb her GRE scores weren’t quite what she was hoping for.” Sa-NAP!

Well what do you think?  What classic sayings and descriptions that tired, boring old hyperbole can you make fresh and vital again with the new hypobole? Go ahead, hit me with your fair-to-midlingest shot!

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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43 Comments on “A Sunday Question More Fun Than A Barrel With A Single, Lonely Monkey In It!”

  1. Renee B-W Says:

    That post was so funny it made the right side of my mouth quirk ever so slightly upwards! But seriously – hypobole – stealing it. 😀


  2. She's a Maineiac Says:

    My love for you is as deep and wide as a small pond full of mud.

    I’m so tired, I could sleep for a few hundred minutes.

    If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you at least a couple more times that I’m aware of anyway.


  3. Lorna's Voice Says:

    I’d love to offer you something here, but I have, like, two things to do. Plus I have an ounce of housework to do.

    But this post was so refreshing, you could have knocked me over with a good shove!


  4. mairedubhtx Says:

    Hypobole is an interesting concept. So interesting that my mind cannot think of a single example, that’s how boggled it is. I’m no good at examples, anyhoo. Yours are great.


  5. 1pointperspective Says:

    I take bad comments with a grain of salt – literally, just one grain. A small one if I can find it.


  6. Tae McNeelege Says:

    Here’s my one cent…cause you know it’s ‘hypo’ than two…
    You think it’s lame?…Ugh, why did I even try?! I’m so embarrassed, I could kill myself slowly by smoking a cigarette.


  7. BrainRants Says:

    You propose such a good idea that I have to forcefully agree with you.


  8. silkpurseproductions Says:

    The patting on the back was well deserved.

    This is so much fun I liked it.
    I have gained so much weight I am heavier.


  9. Elyse Says:

    Is this a quiz? What do I get if I win?


  10. twindaddy Says:

    I’m so tired I could sleep for 5 more minutes…


  11. littlemisswordy Says:

    Your writing is so good, you should publish a sentence.


  12. littlemisswordy Says:

    Just to clarify, I do like your writing. That was my attempt at offering an example. 🙂


  13. Every Record Tells A Story Says:

    There was a guy on kids TV show Crackerjack in the UK who did this and had a few catchphrases, which all started with “Ooh, I’m so excited I could…” and then went on with (I’ll give two examples) “I could crush a grape”, or “I could wrestle an action man” (translation: GI Joe doll).
    We were easily pleased back then…


  14. pfstare Says:

    I think my son’s comment ‘I love you more than pigs walking down the road’ probably qualifies.


  15. shapelle Says:

    This makes me so happy I could smile 🙂


  16. Go Jules Go Says:

    For my birthday, I was spoiled slightly past my prime.


  17. Hippie Cahier Says:

    I like that “Sand!” sign so much that I’m going to say so right here in the comments section.

    By the way, I’ve always wondered and now even more so, what is a ‘bole’ anyway?


  18. tomwisk Says:

    Don’t give up your day job.


  19. Michael Says:

    Yo’ mama so fat, she shares her zip code with 1.2 million people in her greater metropolitan area.
    Yo’ mama so ugly, she was runner-up in the Miss America competition but lost because her piano improvisations weren’t received by the judges as warmly as Miss Connecticut’s interpretive ballet.


  20. J. Ruth Jones Says:

    ‘You’re so attractive, I would enjoy having consensual sexual relations with you.’
    That’s just a hypothetical example, though I’m sure y’all reading this are attractive too.


    • Aimee Says:

      Sounds like something Dr. Sheldon Cooper would say, a character who I like just a small amount. It made me smile in my mind.


  21. aaforringer Says:

    I will enjoy this blog when pigs wallow in the mud.


  22. Laura Says:

    It’s so hot, you could fry an egg on the stove.


  23. jadorelamusique Says:

    This post is so fantastic that I may enjoy it just enough.
    That was terrible. *facepalm* Oy vey.
    Anyway, I really do dig it. Thanks, B-Man.


  24. Life With The Top Down Says:

    It’s raining average sized water droplets.


  25. List of X Says:

    I loved this post so much that I almost read it to the end.


  26. JM Randolph Says:

    Great post!

    I will love you until I lose interest in hearing you try to figure out the Chinese Visa application for your teenage daughter. This conversation you forced on me is just as interesting as the blog I was trying to read.

    Oh, sorry. That was actual sarcasm, not hypobole. My bad.


  27. lsurrett2 Says:

    When I was your age, I walked to the bus stop at the end of my driveway. With my shoes on.


  28. Baddest Mother Ever Says:

    Yo mama is so fat that she is at an elevated risk for developing diabetes.


  29. Bobbi Jo Colello Says:

    I can’t wait until finals are over so that I can throw these books out the – bed.


  30. Paul George Eberlein Says:

    I’m so in love that my pericardium is slightly inflamed.


  31. David J. Bauman Says:

    This is delightful, but I must be careful or it gets messed up and sounds like sarcasm; I will love you until the stars in the heavens start to twinkle just a little bit.


  32. Charlene Woodley Says:

    It’s so cold outside that I may possibly need to wear a light jacket.
    I’m so into health and fitness that I did a step-up.
    I love you so much that it really doesn’t hurt at all.
    My examples are so funny that I almost laughed at them.

    I really enjoyed this post – Thanks Byronic Man!


  33. jlwilson80 Says:

    I thought so hard to come up with a clever comment, that this comment that you’re reading is all i could come up with


  34. talesfromthemotherland Says:

    Yo mama is soooo fat that… oh, never mind. I’m not clever enough.


  35. pegoleg Says:

    I haven’t had time for blogging lately because I’ve been busier than someone who has something else to do.


  36. pegoleg Says:

    ps I LOVE this new word that your student created. I’m saying it out-loud at my desk: hypobole, hypobole… It is new, right?


  37. sohlside Says:

    I laughed do hard it made a slight noise emanate from me.


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