Reduplication is repeating words or part of it again. They could either rhyme with each other or have a different vowel from the other word. By reduplication, words can be switched around to make new words. [1] These kinds of words are used commomly to describe something such as a dance like the hokey - pokey. Reduplication are used to make the word repeated more important or more meaning.[2]


Some examples of reduplication are:

  • boogie woogie - a type of dance
  • okey - dokey - means okay
  • itsy - bitsy - like in the itsy bitsy spider
  • hocus pocus - one of those words used in magic tricks
  • lilly dally - to be carefree and relax ; to take it easy
  • knick - knack - is a toy
  • teeny weeny - is a word for small
  • rock n' roll- is a type of music
  • zig - zag - a line that goes in different directions
  • chit - chat - small talk
  • yada yada - word to say that something is repeated or keeps going on
  • mumbo jumbo - is something that isn't important
  • heebie - jeebies - a word to say that something was scary
  • bling bling - fancy jewlery

In the Malaysian language, Bahasa Melayu, the word for house is rumah. The way you would say house is rumah - rumah. Another example of reduplication is ren which means person in Mandarin Chinese. The word renren means everybody.







Etymological processes

        Word creation

                Eponyms · Toponyms · Onomatopoeia · Reduplication · Blend · Back-formation

        Word evolution

                Phonological: Assimilation · Dissimilation · Metathesis

                Morphological: Folk etymology

                Semantic: Semantic widening · Semantic narrowing · Elevation · Degeneration · Metaphorical extension

Languages which have influenced English

        Latin · Greek · French · German · Spanish · Arabic · Old Norse · Proto-Indo-European

Special topics

        Shakespeare's impact on English · Origin and evolution of the alphabet