Figure Name mycterismus
Source Silva Rhetoricae (;Susenbrotus (1540) 16; Sherry (1550) 46 ("mycterismus," "subsannatio"); Peacham (1577) D3v; Putt. (1589) 201 ("micterismus," "the fleering frumpe"); JG Smith (1665) ("mycterismus")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms mycterismus, micterismus, subsannatio, fleering frumpe
Etymology from Gk. mukterizein “to sneer”
Type Trope
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. A mock given with an accompanying gesture, such as a scornful countenance. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. A disdainful gibe or scoffe, near a Sarcasm.; MYCTERISMUS, Subsannatio, irrisio, a disdainful gibe or scoffe; derived from [mycterizo] subsanno, naso suspendo, to mock or scoffe with bending of the brows, or with blowing the nose at one; or from [aeiro] erigo, suspendo, to lift up, or hang up, and [mycter] nasus, the nose. It is a privy kind of mock or scoff, yet not so privy but that it may well be perceived. It is near to a Sarcasm, but that is more manifest, this more privy, that more easie; and this more hard: And sometimes is a figure, when in shew of disdainful contempt of a person or thing we fling up our nose. (JG Smith)


1. In some smiling sort looking aside or by drawing the lip awry or shrinking up the nose, as he had said to one whose words he believed not, "No doubt, sir, of that" —Puttenham (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Thus when a certain man that was bald, had spightfully rayled against Diogenes, after a little pawse Diogenes answered him thus: My friend, further I have done thee no harm, but this I must say to thee, I do much commend the hairs that are fallen from thy head, for I suppose they were wise, in that they made haste to leave the company of so foolish a skull. (JG Smith)

Kind Of Opposition
Part Of Irony
Related Figures irony, sarcasm, epitrope
Notes I added this to part of irony since there seem to be many related figures - Nike
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Nike Abbott
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes added synonyms
Reviewed No