Have you ever had a friend who over-exaggerates everything?
"I was dying of shame!"
That friend is engaging in hyperbole.
Hyperbole is a figure of speech where ideas are exaggerated for the sake of emphasis.
For instance, if you have a fever, you might say something like, My body feels like it's on fire!
Your body isn't actually on fire, but the use of hyperbole helps illustrate your point – you feel terrible!
Here are some other examples of hyperbole:
- My grandfather is older than dirt.
- Her abs were as hard as rocks!
- I was so busy I felt like I was doing a million things at once!
- She was dying to get her hands on the new handbag.
- He was as tall as a giraffe.