Alliteration is when the same sound occurs at the beginning of more than one words that are close together. Take a look at the bolded letters in the alliteration examples sample below.
- “We send well wishes to the Winchester crew.”
In poetry, the repeated consonant sound of the alliteration tends to come on stressed beats. Below is an sample of one of these alliteration examples:
- “While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,”
In this case among the alliteration examples, the repeat “n” sounds on every other iambic syllable mimics the experience of nodding off, which strengthens the meaning of the line and creates the alliteration.
First mentioned in the early seventeenth century, alliteration was commonly used in early English, Norse, and Sanskrit. Alliteration continues to play an important role in both creative writing and advertising. The repeated sounds of the alliteration make slogans and names easier to remember and help to unify or emphasize key phrases.
How Do You Identify Alliteration in Writing?
When looking for alliteration examples in writing, you need to make sure you are distinguishing it from two similar devices, consonance alliteration and assonance alliteration. Consonance alliteration is a repeated consonant sound inside words, while assonance alliteration is a repeated vowel sound. This set in the alliteration examples contains both consonance alliteration and assonance alliteration:
- “Looked toward the lower bay to notice. . . “
Consonance alliteration occurs in the repeated “w” sounds. At the same time, Whitman uses assonance alliteration in the form of repeating “o” sounds.
Tip: The spoken sound is what’s important, not the written letters. Thus, “kind cat” is an alliteration, but “kind knight” is not.
- Alliteration Examples #1) Bed, Bath & Beyond
- Alliteration Examples #2) “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” is the title from a poem by William Butler Yeats.
- Alliteration Examples #3)The New York Times uses assonance to make its slogan memorable: “All the news that’s fit to print.“
- Alliteration Examples #4) Betty Botter bought some butter,/but, she said, the butter’s bitter” is a children’s tongue twister with lots of “b” alliteration.
- Alliteration Examples #5) Dunkin’ Donuts
- Alliteration Examples #6)”With Blue — uncertain — stumbling Buzz –” Emily Dickinson’s capitalization emphasizes the alliteration.
- Alliteration Examples #7)”Tell all the truth but tell it a slant” is the title from another Dickinson poem. Here, she uses alliteration (with the letter “t’) and consonance (with the letter “l”).
- Alliteration Examples #8)”Sylvia could see the white sails of ships out at sea” comes from Sarah Orne Jewett’s short story, “A White Heron.”