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Definition of Alliteration & Examples From Hip-Hop, Literature and History

Teach Figurative Language With Flocabulary

Check out the lyrics and more.
Listen to Flocabulary’s new, free Figurative Language song. You’ll learn all about alliteration, as well as metaphors, simile and more.

Wordplay Wednesday is going back to school. Teach figurative language? Literary terms? Rhetorical devices? This school year, we’ll highlight one term per week, with examples from hip-hop, literature, history and general skilled linguists from all fields. You can use these examples in all grades, and have students create their own examples. Share them in the comments for all to see. We’ll add our favorites to this post.

So to start it all off, we bring you…


Definition: The repetition of sounds, especially initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words.

Why Writers Use it:  It can help connect ideas, make sentences memorable or sound musical. When overused, it can also be cloying or irritating.

Having trouble remembering the definition? Let Allie the Alliterative Albino American Alligator assist you.

Allie the Alliterative Albino American Alligator

Hip-Hop Alliteration Examples

“Furious, phat, fabulous, fantastic/
flurries of funk felt feeding the fanatics”” -Blackalicious

“The crime pays little but the consequence is costly” -Jay Electronica

“I’m a twenty ton terror on top of Tokyo towers with two titanium tentacles” -NoCanDo

Alliteration Examples in Romeo and Juliet, and other Shakespearean Works

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life. –Prologue from Romeo and Juliet

Mercutio and Tybalt were beefing,
When in walks Romeo, spicing up the scenery. -Flocabulary’s Romeo and Juliet Summary

Love and languish for his sake” -Oberon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

“When do I count the clock that tells the time?” – Sonnet 12

Alliteration Examples in History

“But then I asked myself, “Are we serving Shamus as well as he is serving us?”” -Barack Obama, 2004 Democratic Convention Speech

“To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves for whatever period is required…” -John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address

“In the United States today, we have more than our share of nattering nabobs of negativism.” -Spiro Agnew

Our Best Community Examples

Share your alliteration in the comments, and you just might get featured here!

Coming next week: The Greatest Examples Of Hyperbole, Ever.

Also, a special thanks to our intern Sammy Feldblum for scouring the planet and internet for the best literary term examples out there.

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This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. The author is amazingly astute at addressing the awesome albino american alligator through attentive alliteration.

  2. Josh and Jacob jumped jollily on a jar of jelly while jawing about Jessica’s joyful job!

  3. I created an “alliteration station” with my middle school kiddos– had them post examples of alliteration that they saw in their environment (newspapers, magazines, etc.). They could also include items they heard or read in class. You’d be amazed how quickly that wall filled up with awesome alliteration examples.

  4. I love the play with literary terms. Hoping I will be able to “pull this up” when I’m teaching it!

    Thank you for reaching out to our kids!
    It’s not about us!

  5. Lessons like these go over really well the struggling readers that I tutor online. They love working on “school” type stuff over the internet, and alliteration is—let’s face it—a lot of fun!

    And they love the Word Up! stuff a bunch. Even my slowest readers speed up their reading, with fluency, after hearing a song a couple times. I love it! Will you be making MORE for that series? I’d love to see some new ones soon, especially when it becomes a paid subscription. My kids are too young for the news. Thanks for your great ideas and art!

  6. The scholars in my fourth grade class love Flocabulary. They use the songs to help them remember the meaning of the different types of figurative languages. Thank you.

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