antimetabole antimetabole
 an'-ti-me-ta'-bo-lee Gk. anti “in opposite direction”
and metabole “turning about”
Also sp. antimetavole
the counterchange

Repetition of words, in successive clauses, in reverse grammatical order.
  This figure is sometimes known as chiasmus.
  When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. —John F. Kennedy

You can take the gorilla out of the jungle, but you can't take the jungle out of the gorilla.

Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful. —Samuel Johnson, Rasselas

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! —Isaiah 5:20

Related Figures

  Sources: Ad Herennium 4.28.39 ("commutatio"); Peacham (1577) K2r; Putt. (1589) 217 ("antimetavole," "the counterchange"); Day 1599 95 ("antimetano" [sic], "commutatio"); Hoskins (1599)14 ("antimetabole," "commutatio")

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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
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