Misused words: Epithet vs Epigraph vs Epitaph vs Epigram

What is the difference between Epithet, Epigraph, Epitaph, and Epigram ?




What is the meaning of Epithet?
Epithet may be a name, a word, or phrase that works as a descriptive nickname, such as Sachin the Master Blaster, Tommy The Terrible. Epithet can be used as criticizing or praising someone.
The word epithet pronounces ep-uh-thet; with a pessure on "ep".
Epithet in sentence:
  1. Many racial epithets were scrawled on the walls.
  2. Campbell was arrested in October for beating the man and using a racist epithet.
What is the meaning of Epigraph?
An epigraph is a short phrase or inscription engraved on a building or statue; it is also a line of writing as an introduction to part of a book, or beginning of a piece of writing.

Epigraph in sentence:
  1. Stack includes an epigraph from Adrienne Rich: “The experience of motherhood was eventually to radicalize me.”  New York Times
  2. There was a new epigraph scrawled at the top: “The pursuit of truth will set you free even if you never catch up with it.” Slate

What is the meaning of Epitaph?
Epitaph means words that are written about a dead person, especially words on gravestone or tombstone.
Epitaph in sentence:
  1. The most impressive statement about the company may now be its epitaph: Once and long ago, Sears was a mighty retailer. Washington Times
  2. His epitaph read:' A just and noble countryman'.


What is the meaning of Epigram?
Epigram is a short and clever saying, sometimes it can be a poem.
It is a short poem or phrase that express an idea in a clever or amusing way.

Famous Epigrams:
  1. Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation. -Oscar Wilde
  2. Raise your words, not their volume. Rain grows flowers, not thunder. -Machael R.Burch

Origin of Epithet, Epigraph, Epitaph, and Epigram :
Origin of Epithet:
The word epithet is taken from the Greek word "epitheton". Epithet comes from "epi" that means 'upon' + "thet" (tithenai) that means 'to place'.
To place other name upon a name, like Tommy the traitor.

Origin of Epigraph:
The word Epigraph taken from the roots "epi" meaning 'upon' + "graph" (graphein) meaning 'write'.
autobiography, autograph are also taken from the same root.

Origin of Epitaph:
The word epitaph comes "epi"- 'upon' + "taphos" means 'tomb'. Something written on tomb is called epitaph.

Origin of Epigram:
The word epigram is taken from "epi"- 'upon' and "gramma" means 'thing written or letter of the alphabet'.
Telegram, cablegram is also taken from the same source, i.e, gramma.

What is the difference between Epithet, Epigraph, Epitaph, and Epigram ?
All the words have one common root that it epi that means "upon". Now we try to get all the ideas about the word with the help of their uncommon roots: thet, graph, taph, and gram.

Epithet means a name or phrase given to someone. It can be a praise or criticism. As thet taken from tithenai means to place
Epigraph means short phrase or inscription written somewhere, especially at the beginning of a book.
Epitaph is an inscription on gravestone or tombstone, as taph means tomb
Epigram means witty saying. It is a type of saying which is short and amusing.

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