A figure of speech that hints something unpleasant instead of stating it straightaway. When a thing, instead of being plainly stated, is suggested or implied merely, the effect is sometimes much greater.
For example when someone is to be said to examine what was reputed to be a very fine painting. He remarked, “what a splendid frame!”. The implication was that the painting was not good at all. So Innuendo is an art to manage the adverse remarks about something instead of direct accusations.
It was first known used in 1678.
Common Examples of Innuendo
- He must be well off now because although he received only a small salary he had charge of the cash.
- “This author’s books will live at least a year.”
Example of Innuendo in Proverbs
1. “Some have been thought brave, because they were afraid to run away”.
People thought that those who remained in the battlefield were brave. In fact, those soldiers were so cowardly that they even could not run away in fear of life.
2. “All is fair in love and war”
The above proverb indicates that people do not follow any rule & regulation in love and war.
Innuendo examples in Literature
1) In “The rape of the lock’’ by Pope
“The hungry Judges soon the sentence sign
And wretches hang that Jurymen may dine”
The implied meaning suggested in these lines is that dinner is more important to the Judges than life of the accused.
2) In “Twelfth Night” by Shakespeare
“By my life, this is my lady’s hand: these be her very C’s
Her U’s and her T’s: and thus makes she her great P’s.
In the above lines, it spells out “CUT”, but if it read aloud “her C’s, her U’s and her T’s, it gets a lot dirtier.
3) In “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare
“Yea”, quoth he, ‘dost thou fall upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit;
Wilt thou not, Jule? ‘and, by my holidame,
The pretty wretch left crying and said ‘Ay.’
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