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Say, for example, you and a group of people were all sailing out in the ocean and something happens...then you say,

"I guess we are all in the same boat"

You are literally in the same boat with everyone else, and your current situation is the same as everyone else.

Now such a phrase can be applied literally and figuratively. I was wondering if there was a word that would mean both literally and figuratively. I know this is a tad bit of an oxymoron, but I was curious to see if there was such an "all encompassing" word for this.

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Some suggest "true in both/all senses." –  dingo_dan Mar 23 at 18:10
'If you'll pardon the pun, ...' –  Edwin Ashworth Mar 23 at 18:55
Isn't that (figuratively) ironic? –  Elliott Frisch Mar 24 at 1:49
I would think the figurative is usually derived from the literal, therefore literally would tend to imply figuratively. Is it feasible that people who were literally all in the same boat but would be subject to different meteorological conditions (aside from those above/below deck)? –  Jack Ryan Mar 25 at 16:34

2 Answers 2

It's certainly not a syllepsis. While close in meaning it actually applies to a word that applies to two separate subjects the same sentence. I still can't find a solid answer to this question, however, and something tells me French is the answer

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Hi, welcome to English Language & Usage.SE. To make your answer better you can edit it to add alternative suggestions for a word that might convey the meaning the original question is seeking. When you have the requisite reputation, a comment like this without a defined alternative is best put in the comment section below the answer you are commenting on. –  Sam Jun 4 at 7:35

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