(also called, "Becasue the author said so, that's why...")


PRONUNCIATION: (per-uh-puh-TEE-uh, -TIE-uh)

MEANING: noun: A sudden or unexpected change of fortune, especially in a literary work. A classic example is Oedipus learning about his parentage.

ETYMOLOGY: From Greek peripiptein (to change suddenly), from peri- (near, around) + piptein (to fall). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pet- (to rush or fly), which also gave us feather, petition, compete, perpetual, pterodactyl, helicopter, pterodactyl, propitious, pinnate, pteridology (study of ferns), lepidopterology (study of butterflies and moths), pencel (flag at the end of a lance), and impetuous. Earliest documented use: 1591.


PERIPETELA - around the kneecap

HERIPETIA - whatever you say, he'll say it again right afterwards

EERIPETIA - the Hound of the Baskervilles, right!