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Verborum Bombus

Updated Jan 10, 2023

The Verborum Bombus: A Rhetorical Device that Commands Attention


Have you ever come across a speech or written piece that left you spellbound, hanging on to every word spoken or written? If so, you may have encountered the powerful rhetorical device known as verborum bombus. In this article, we will dive deeper into what this intriguing device entails, explore its historical origins, and examine some notable examples where it has been effectively employed.

Understanding Verborum Bombus

At its core, verborum bombus is a Latin term that translates to "buzzing of words." It refers to the deliberate use of a multitude of words or a series of repetitive phrases to create a sense of excitement, emphasis, or anticipation within the audience. By harnessing the rhythmic quality of language and the strategic repetition of key terms, this rhetorical device aims to captivate listeners or readers and leave a lasting impact.

Historical Origins

The origins of verborum bombus can be traced back to the classical era, where orators and writers sought to master the art of persuasion. Ancient Greek and Roman rhetoricians, such as Cicero and Demosthenes, recognized the power of repetition in their speeches. However, it wasn't until the Renaissance period that this concept was given a name and further explored.

Notable Examples

Example 1: Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech

One of the most iconic instances of verborum bombus can be found in Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic speech, "I Have a Dream." In this speech, King strategically repeats the phrase "I have a dream" several times throughout, emphasizing his vision for racial equality. By employing this rhetorical device, King not only amplifies the significance of his message but also creates a memorable and inspiring rhythm that resonates with his audience.

Example 2: Winston Churchill's "We Shall Fight on the Beaches" Speech

Another remarkable illustration of verborum bombus is showcased in Winston Churchill's powerful speech, "We Shall Fight on the Beaches." In this address, Churchill emphasizes the repeated phrase "We shall" to convey unwavering determination and resolve during World War II. By hammering home the message with each repetition, Churchill galvanized the British people, instilling in them a sense of unity and courage in the face of adversity.

Example 3: Barack Obama's "Yes We Can" Campaign Slogan

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama employed verborum bombus through his memorable slogan, "Yes We Can." By repeating this simple yet powerful phrase throughout his speeches, Obama energized his supporters, inspiring them to believe in the possibility of change and progress. The rhythmic repetition of "Yes We Can" created a sense of collective empowerment and unity, making it one of the most effective campaign slogans in recent history.


The verborum bombus, with its strategic use of repetition and rhythmic language, has proven to be a powerful rhetorical device throughout history. From Martin Luther King Jr. to Winston Churchill and Barack Obama, skilled orators and writers have harnessed its potential to captivate audiences and convey their messages with impact. By understanding and appreciating this device, we can better appreciate the artistry and effectiveness of powerful speeches and written works that have stood the test of time.

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