What Is Transferred Epithet?

Are you curious to know what is transferred epithet? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about transferred epithet in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is transferred epithet?

Language, when used skillfully, has the power to evoke vivid imagery and convey complex emotions. Writers often employ various literary devices to enhance the impact of their words. One such device is the transferred epithet, a stylistic technique that enriches descriptions by attributing an adjective to a noun other than the one it grammatically modifies. In this blog, we will delve into the world of transferred epithet, explore its purpose, and provide examples from literature to illustrate its effectiveness.

What Is Transferred Epithet?

A transferred epithet, also known as hypallage, occurs when an adjective is placed with one noun in a sentence but actually refers to another noun in the context, creating a striking and often more emotionally charged image. It involves transferring the descriptive quality of an adjective from the intended noun to another nearby noun. The result is a powerful and imaginative description that engages the reader’s senses and emotions.

Purpose Of Transferred Epithet

Transferred epithets serve several important purposes in literature and writing:

  • Vivid Description: They make descriptions more vivid, capturing the reader’s attention and creating a mental picture that lingers.
  • Emotional Impact: By associating an adjective with an unexpected noun, transferred epithets can evoke emotions and create a sense of depth and meaning.
  • Engagement: They engage the reader’s imagination and invite them to actively participate in interpreting the text.
  • Rhetorical Device: Transferred epithets are a valuable rhetorical device for poets and prose writers to add depth and nuance to their writing.

Examples Of Transferred Epithet

Let’s explore some examples of transferred epithets in literature:

  • A sleepless night” – In this phrase, the epithet “sleepless” is transferred from the person (who is unable to sleep) to the night itself, suggesting that the night is awake and restless.
  • The happy sun” – Here, the adjective “happy” is transferred from the person experiencing happiness to the sun, personifying it as if it were capable of feeling emotions.
  • His accusing eyes” – The epithet “accusing” is transferred from the action (the person’s gaze) to the eyes themselves, implying that the eyes are the ones doing the accusing.
  • The angry storm” – In this example, the adjective “angry” is transferred from the person who might feel anger to the storm, anthropomorphizing it as a furious entity.
  • The dancing leaves” – The epithet “dancing” is transferred from a potential dancer to the leaves, suggesting that the leaves are engaged in a lively, rhythmic movement.

Significance In Literature

Transferred epithets are commonly found in literature, especially in poetry, where the emphasis is often on evoking emotions and creating vivid imagery. Poets use this technique to convey complex feelings and create memorable, sensory-rich experiences for their readers. By transferring an adjective from its expected noun, they add depth and layers of meaning to their verses.


Transferred epithet is a literary device that elevates the art of description and engages readers on a deeper level. It allows writers to craft imaginative and emotionally charged narratives by attributing adjectives to unexpected nouns. Whether in poetry or prose, transferred epithets are a powerful tool for writers seeking to create evocative, engaging, and memorable literary works that resonate with their audience.


What Is A Transferred Epithet With Example?

Transferred epithet is when an adjective usually used to describe one thing is transferred to another. An epithet is a word or phrase which describes the main quality of someone or something. For example: ‘a happy person’.

What Is An Example Of An Epithet?

Epithets can be throughout pop culture from famous film characters to pop stars’ stage names. Here are a few examples of epithet in the music industry: Elvis Presley was given the epithet “The King of Rock and Roll” or simply “The King.” Louis Armstrong had the epithets “Satchmo” and “Pops.”

What Is An Example Of Transferred Epithet And Personification?

Transferred epithet: Transfer of a modifier from one noun to another. Example: She spent a sleepless night though she was very tired. Personification: Giving the quality of a human being to an inanimate object. Its like assigning emotions or actions to objects.

What Is The Poetic Device Epithet?

An epithet is a literary device used to describe something or someone with characteristics that are more interesting and prominent than they are in reality. The technique might be employed for any number of reasons and be known by several other names, such as “by-name”.

I Have Covered All The Following Queries And Topics In The Above Article

What Is Transferred Epithet Poetic Device

What Is Transferred Epithet Example

Transferred Epithet Examples Class 12

Transferred Epithet Class 10

Transferred Epithet Meaning In Hindi

Transferred Epithet Vs Personification

Transferred Epithet In A Photograph

Transferred Epithet Pronunciation

What Is Transferred Epithet