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From:Tim May <butsuri@...>
Date:Tuesday, October 19, 2004, 0:24
Thomas R. Wier wrote at 2004-10-18 01:05:39 (-0500)
 > From:    Muke Tever <hotblack@...>
 > Subject: Re: re Periphrases?  Re    Re Question about Latin.
 > > >  what's a periphrase?
 > >
 > > The singular of "periphrases" is "periphrasis".
 > Except for most English speakers, for whom the paradigm goes
 > "periphrase : periphrases".

Hmmm... the term "periphrase" is attested, but seems to be fairly
rare.  It appears to be in Merriam-Webster, but it's not in the AHD or
the Concise OED.  (In any case I'm inclined to suspect that the
majority of English speakers don't really know the word in either

From Google:

 about 7,270 English pages for periphrasis
 about 2,540 English pages for periphrase
 about 3,070 English pages for periphrases

(We could tell whether "periphrases" is from "periphrasis" or
"periphrase" if we knew how they were pronouncing it, but there's no
way of determining that.)

 about 4,850 English pages for paraphrasis
 about 196,000 English pages for paraphrase
 about 72,400 English pages for paraphrases

(Of course, many of the results for "paraphrase" and "paraphrases"
will be verbal usages.)