Good Essay Starters Examples Of Hyperbole

Simple and Famous Hyperbole Examples That are Easy to Understand

A hyperbole is used regularly in both, written and oral communication. When we want to emphasize on something, we use a hyperbole. A hyperbole, as a figure of speech, or as a rhetorical device, is used in literature (poetry and prose) to emphasize on something. This emphasis is achieved by the use of extreme exaggeration.
Hyperbole is derived from the word hyperbole (L. & Gk.).
Noun: hyperbole/hyperbolism
Adjective: hyperbolic(al)
Adverb: hyperbolically
We can say that hyperboles are literary devices that aren't to be taken literally. Usually used in works of fiction, a hyperbole adds color and more meaning to a character or the story as a whole. A part of the figurative language (language that is not literal in meaning), a hyperbole becomes a great tool in creative writing. Now, let's look at a few examples.
Famous Examples of Hyperbole
"At that time Bogota was a remote, lugubrious city where an insomniac rain had been falling since the beginning of the 16th century."
- Gabriel García Márquez, Living to Tell the Tale
Here, the claim that 'rain had been falling since the beginning of the 16th century' is an obvious exaggeration.
"Well now, one winter it was so cold that all the geese flew backward and all the fish moved south and even the snow turned blue. Late at night, it got so frigid that all spoken words froze solid afore they could be heard. People had to wait until sunup to find out what folks were talking about the night before."
- Opening of the American folktale 'Babe the Blue Ox'
Here, the 'geese flying backward', 'snow turning blue', 'words freezing', and 'waiting for sunrise to find out what was being said' are all hyperboles, as none of these actually happen.
"Auden on Endless Love
I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,

I'll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky."
- W.H. Auden, As I Walked Out One Evening
Here, we know that China and Africa can never meet and that oceans will never be hung to dry. These ideas are impossible. The poet has implied this 'impossibility' as the depth of his love. Here, hyperbole is used as a rhetorical device.
"I was helpless. I did not know what in the world to do. I was quaking from head to foot, and could have hung my hat on my eyes, they stuck out so far."
- Mark Twain, Old Times on the Mississippi
Here, the author has added humor to his predicament, and to describe it has said, '...could have hung my hat on my eyes'.
"A man can have a belly you could house commercial aircraft in and a grand total of eight greasy strands of hair, which he grows real long and combs across the top of his head so that he looks, when viewed from above, like an egg in the grasp of a giant spider, plus this man can have B.O. to the point where he interferes with radio transmissions, and he will still be convinced that, in terms of attractiveness, he is borderline Don Johnson."
- Dave Barry, Revenge of the Pork Person
Here, the author has described a character using a comparison that is a hyperbole: 'a belly you could house commercial aircraft in'.
"My toaster has never once worked properly in four years. I follow the instructions and push two slices of bread down in the slots, and seconds later they rifle upwards. Once they broke the nose of a woman I loved dearly."
- Woody Allen, 'My Speech to the Graduates' featured in The New York Times
Here, 'rifle up' is an extreme alternative to 'pop up'. Also, there is little to no possibility that the nose of a woman broke with a piece of toast. This is a fine example of hyperbole being used to add humor to a statement.
10 Simple Hyperbole Examples for Kids
~Have you realized you always walk at the speed of a snail?
~I have been trying to complete this since the Stone Age.

~After the holidays, I'm sure a whale would weigh less than me.

~Hundreds of tears flowed down her cheeks that day.

~The car was decorated with a million flowers.

~Her mile-wide smile could make anyone's heart melt instantly.

~Her nails were so long she could tap people on the back with them.

~Sometimes I really believe that your brain is the size of a pea.
~Whenever I went to the library, I would see him buried under a mountain of paperwork.
Hyperbole Examples in Advertising
iPhone 5: Browse, download and stream content at blazing-fast speeds.

Samsung GALAXY Camera: Shoot, Edit and Share instantly to get a thousand likes on your photos!

Camel: I'd walk a mile for a camel.

Citi: Citi never sleeps.

Citgo: There at every turn.

Esso: Put a tiger in your tank.

Sherwin Williams: Cover the earth.

321 East: How good is our steak? Last week a man who was choking on a piece refused the Heimlich Maneuver.
As we have seen, all these hyperbole examples tell us how exaggeration can be used to convey the exact meaning through magnified implication. A simple statement can seem dramatic with the use of a hyperbole. These examples will not only help you understand certain texts, but also improve your command over the written language.

Hyperbole is an extreme exaggeration used to make a point. It is like the opposite of “understatement.” It is from a Greek word meaning “excess.”

Hyperboles can be found in literature and oral communication. They would not be used in nonfiction works, like medical journals or research papers; but, they are perfect for fictional works, especially to add color to a character or humor to the story.

Hyperboles are comparisons, like similes and metaphors, but are extravagant and even ridiculous. They are not meant to be taken literally.

Hyperbole Adds Excitement and Fun

A boring story can come to life or become comical with the use of a hyperbole. Some commonly used examples of hyperbole include:

  • I’ve told you a million times!
  • It was so cold, I saw polar bears wearing jackets.
  • She is so dumb, she thinks Taco Bell is a Mexican phone company.
  • I am so hungry I could eat a horse.
  • I have a million things to do.
  • I had to walk 15 miles to school in the snow, uphill.
  • I had a ton of homework.
  • If I can’t buy that new game, I will die!
  • He is as skinny as a toothpick.
  • This car goes faster than the speed of light.
  • That new car costs a bazillion dollars.
  • We are so poor; we don’t have two cents to rub together.
  • That joke is so old, the last time I heard it I was riding on a dinosaur.
  • They ran like greased lightning.
  • He's got tons of money.
  • You could have knocked me over with a feather.
  • Her brain is the size of a pea.
  • He is older than the hills.

Hyperbole in Media and Literature

If used properly, hyperbole can encourage consumers to buy products. There has been limited research into this area, but a 2007 study by Mark A. Callister PhD & Lesa A. Stern PhD, "The Role of Visual Hyperbole in Advertising Effectiveness" found that "hyperbolic ads produce more ad liking than nonhyperbolic ads".   

Examples of hyperboles in advertising include:

  • “adds amazing luster for infinite, mirror-like shine” (Brilliant Brunette shampoo)
  • “It doesn't get better than this” (Oscar Meyer)
  • "The best a man can get" (Gillette)

A great example of hyperbole in literature comes from Paul Bunyan’s opening remarks in the American folktale of Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox:

“Well now, one winter it was so cold that all the geese flew backward and all the fish moved south and even the snow turned blue. Late at night, it got so frigid that all spoken words froze solid afore they could be heard. People had to wait until sunup to find out what folks were talking about the night before.”

Another example comes from the poem "As I Walked Out One Evening" by W.H. Auden:

"I'll love you, dear, I'll love you till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,
I'll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky."

Following are some short quotes  from literature containing hyperboles:

  • The skin on her face was as thin and drawn as tight as the skin of onion and her eyes were gray and sharp like the points of two picks. - Parker's Back, Flannery O'Connor
  • It was not a mere man he was holding, but a giant; or a block of granite. The pull was unendurable. The pain unendurable. - A Boy and a Man, James Ramsey Ullman
  • People moved slowly then. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. - To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • It's a slow burg. I spent a couple of weeks there one day. - The People, Yes, Carl Sandberg
  • Why does a boy who’s fast as a jet take all day and sometimes two to get to school? - Speed Adjustments, John Ciadri

Remember, hyperbole can be found in many sources, from poetry and plays to our everyday speech. Look for these fun comparisons and use hyperbole to add emphasis, feeling and humor into your writing!

Do you have a good example to share? Add your example here.

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Examples of Hyperboles

By YourDictionary

Hyperbole is an extreme exaggeration used to make a point. It is like the opposite of “understatement.” It is from a Greek word meaning “excess.”Hyperboles can be found in literature and oral communication. They would not be used in nonfiction works, like medical journals or research papers; but, they are perfect for fictional works, especially to add color to a character or humor to the story.Hyperboles are comparisons, like similes and metaphors, but are extravagant and even ridiculous. They are not meant to be taken literally.
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