A figure of speech is figurative language in the form of a single word or phrase.

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What do these figurative descriptions mean?

I am a English learner and went to see The Revenant. But I found I cannot understand this movie at all, so I googled for a movie review of this movie, however I only found more confusion in this ...
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Is there an expression for cutting ties or calling off something that is ultimately unfavorable to both parties?

In particular, ending something that one of the parties is still attached to. For instance, in a relationship, if one person doesn't want to go through the short term struggle of a breakup (and is ...
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“A government of the people, by the people, for the people”

From a famous speech: A government of the people, by the people, for the people I believe the last part is clear (for the people). But what is the difference— in meaning— between of the people ...
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Any particular meaning to the expression 'stuck still'?

Stuck still, I would like to know what the exact meaning of this expression is. I think it's something like 'frozen in place' by a certain shocking or surprising occurrence or situation.
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What is unfreeze your hearts?

Stephen Colbert was taking about the CIA Interrogation Report when he said, "unfreeze your heart!" @6:12 in the video. What does that mean? How can I use that term? Does it mean, 'forget about it"?
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Is the phrase “my memories form into a mass of life” a metaphor?

The phrase "my memories form into a mass of life" belongs to a poem. Is it a metaphor or a personification? Could it be both?
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The Kids are All Right

As I was reading some of the responses on Should I use “the wife” or “my wife”?, I agreed with many of the posters stating that using the wife as opposed to my wife was slightly less personal and ...
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The rain is “lifting”

How can the rain "lift"? I mean, I can pretty well figure out that the fog or mist or smog, etc. "lifts", i.e. disappears or disperses by or as if by rising, but "the rain lifting" sounds like it's ...
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Rhetoric word for answering a question with another answer implying the first

During a discussion on AI, it was asserted that AI is not yet handling very well cases where an indirect, but quite adequate (unless prevaricatory) answer is given. Examples: Person A: Are you ...
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Analysis of following writing pattern

Is there a name for following writing/dialogue pattern? We ride into the future. A future where ... In the world you grew up. A new world with ... It's just a theory. A game theory.
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what figure of speech/ literary device is the following?

When something is implied but we still state it to reinforce the idea, I suspect it might be tautology but isn't tautology repetition of idea in different form ? implication is not required in ...
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Figure of speech: Repeated synonyms

I am looking for the name of the figure of speech, where two words with similar meaning are used together to convey an idea more emphatically. For example: 'Cease and Desist', 'Null and void', etc. ...
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Is “The Walking Dead” a personification?

Personification (or anthropomorphism) is attributing human features to non-humans. Technically, a dead human is not a human and we give the attribute of walking to the dead. So, Is "the walking dead" ...
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What kind of rhetorical strategy is it when someone points out a potential sticking point in his proposition before anyone can criticize it?

E.g.: I know some of you might consider this question general reference, but think of all those people who will be reading it all over the world and how it will enrich our data bank. Of ...
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When should I say or write the expression, “Good question”? [closed]

People are often heard saying "Good question". Some people suggest that, when you don't have the answer then this expression is used to acknowledge that. However, it feels more of an appreciation from ...
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Is “New and Improved” an oxymoron?

It irritates me that advertisers often claim a product is "New and Improved". Surely, if something is new (ie, has not existed previously), it can't be improved! And vice versa!
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Can “cinema” work as a collective noun?

The local cinema do not even consider screening this movie. In the above sentence, "cinema" is employed to denote one or more of the staff who determine the programme. My question is, does it ...
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99% of people would do x

99% of people, 99% of things, events, dogs, whatever. 99% Recently I used what is to me as a Brit a pretty common figure of speech, saying "99% of people would x", meaning simply that the vast ...
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Is there any authoritative source from where we can find out if a phrase or figure of speech is American English or British English? [closed]

For example the figure of speech " One swallow doesn't make a summer" is British English. Similarly the figure of speech 'All hat and no cattle" is American English. Is there any source from where ...
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What does “wound for sound” mean and where did it come from?

This is a figure of speech that's been in my lexicon virtually forever. I'm not sure where I learned this, but to me it means "keyed up and ready to go". A combination of high energy, tension, and ...
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An alternative to the phrase “God bless you” [closed]

In the context of wishing someone a Blessing,if I choose not to use the term God , what are the other words that can be used that still conveys the same meaning as the phrase "God bless you"?
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Is the expression “You the Man” gender neutral?

The expression "You The Man" is generally used to compliment a male. Can this expression be used to compliment a female? If not, what is a suitable alternative?
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Is unknown certainty oxymoronic?

If someone started a story thus, In a time lost, in a certain yet unknown place, is the Castle of Umberdeen ... How could an entity be a certainty and yet unknown? It does not make sense. But ...
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“I'm happy to see that you are sober as a judge” Is this a rhetorical device?

Context: A few decades ago, during the electoral campaign for governor, there was a televised debate between the three major parties candidates. Candidate A, the favorite according to the polls, was ...
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Aphorisms that use two words in reverse order [duplicate]

I've found aphorisms often that play on the meaning of two words and their interaction and was wondering what one might call them. An example is the PJ Harvey song name: The whore hustles and ...
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From Avocadoes to Asparagus, from kangaroos to koalas

What is the name of this literary saying? People use this figure of speech in order to express a wide coverage or variety of a certain class, such as vegetable species available in a market for ...
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List of new idioms from our era? [closed]

A recent question was about the new idiom in English "it goes to eleven". (It dates from 1984.) I was wondering, Taking "recent" or "in our generation" as since the 1980s... a) What's the single ...
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discerning between “metaphor” and“ symbol”

I am wondering if symbol and metaphor could be considered interchangeable-- And, when they cannot. Or, would you please show me an authoratative source? Any comment or feed back would greatly be ...
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Richard Feynman is certainly not mischievous!

In the introduction of Richard Feynmans book Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, a colleague describes Feynman's character. The description makes sense to me - except for one word. The word ...
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What figure of speech takes the form “[concrete noun] of [abstract noun]” (non-anthropomorphic)

What is the precise technical figure of speech for a phrase that pairs a concrete noun (non-anthropomorphic*) to an abstract noun in the form of "[concrete] of [abstract]"? The particular example I ...
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What does “wear shoes” mean in this idiom?

I was reading an article today that used "wear shoes" metaphorically and I have no idea what they're trying to say. The context is an Indian outsourcing company diversifying by using its existing ...
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Asking about figures of speech [closed]

Is steady my knees an image and why ?and also chewing on his pipe?and shuffling of their feet? the treble of them are extracts from a prose text called "she walked alone" thank you..
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“Freedom is slavery” and “Ignorance is strength” - What kind of rhetorical strategy is this?

What kind of rhetorical strategy (or fallacy?) is it when someone uses words with opposite meanings and combines them in what seems to be a contradiction? In George Orwell’s 1984 we can find: ...
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Waterproof shod?

In Norwegian we have a saying, vanntette skodd, that directly translated to English would be waterproof shod. It means that there is a segregation between two subjects such that not even water passes ...
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'A word in your shell-like' drops the noun from the original noun phrase. Are there any similar constructs?

I first encountered this from the mouth of 'Rumpole of the Bailey', and I've since seen it in lots of places. But I can't dredge up any similar constructions, where the original adjective remains ...
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What figure of speech is this, “assaulted by a haircut”?

"That guy is assaulting us with that haircut". There's some hyperbole in there, but its definitely a substitution of some sort.
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What do these two figures of speech mean? Embrace the grind and lower your shoulder

I came across these two figures of speech:(a) Embrace the grind and (b) Lower your shoulder in one of the Instagram posts of Dwayne Johnson(The Rock) Since I am not a native English speaker I just ...
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What is “as smart as paint”

R.L.Stevenson, Treasure Island: chapter VIII. "At the sign of the Spy-Glass" John Silver says that Jim Hawkins is "as smart as paint". What does he mean?
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Meaning of a mixed metaphor from “The Gift of The Magi”?

This is from The Gift of The Magi by O Henry (William Sydney Porter). Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. (part 4, paragraph 5 in the reference ...
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“At the drop of a hat”?

Where does the figure of speech "at the drop of a hat" come from? I understand the phrase means "Immediately; instantly; on the slightest signal or urging. (Alludes to the dropping of a hat as a ...
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What's the origin of the figure of speech “call the shots”?

I'm well aware that when someone says "he's the one who calls the shots" it means that that person is the one in charge, the one who takes all the relevant decisions. But what's the origin of this ...
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The Yellow Wallpaper - What does *Smooch* mean?

I was reading a brilliant piece of Feminist Literature : The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman which uses the word smooch three times, all in reference to the yellow wallpaper: Then ...
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“Childlessness is hereditary in our family” What do you call a statement containing a contradiction such as the example?

This kind of sentence is usually absurd and may or may not be recognized as such by the person who utters it. She will regret it till the day she dies, if she lives that long! "Aren't you going to ...
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What is the correct grammar to use for this common style of speaking?

Oftentimes when people want to emphasize something, an idea is repeated three times, but without closing it as a full sentence. I am not sure how to write this in a formal essay. Here is my example: ...
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What's the name of this figure of speech playing with the use-mention distinction?

The following is a figure of speech I've seen a couple of times in my native language of German. Though I have no reason to doubt it exists, I don't remember ever seeing it used in English, so I've ...
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Which figure of speech is this?

Suppose I've written a story that is set in ancient times. And I refer to something quite modern in it. Like I'm writing about the roman empire suppose, and I write 'He looked at the time in his ...