A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels."

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How did kool-aid come to be the drink of fanboys?

Why does Kool-Aid relate to being something's fanboy/fangirl?
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3answers
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Is “he runs like a cheetah” a kind of metaphor?

To make a metaphor about somebody's running speed, should we say "he is a cheetah" or "he runs like a cheetah"? Why?
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3answers
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What does “Eat our peas” mean - where does it come from?

In a recent speech about the national debt, Obama said it's time to "Eat our peas". What does it mean - where does it come from?
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8answers
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Ripe with Opportunity? Or Rife?

The Grammarist says I should use rife with rather than ripe with. So far so good and I agree. But is there an exception for ripe with opportunity? Googlefight overwhelmingly prefers ripe, and I like ...
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2answers
1k views

Is this passage an example of a metaphor, analogy, or both?

"The movement of humanity, arising as it does from innumerable arbitrary human wills, is continuous. To understand the laws of this continuous movement is the aim of history. . . . Only by ...
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6answers
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What is the metaphoric meaning of silo?

Process-oriented organizations break down the barriers of structural departments and try to avoid functional silos. I was wondering what silo means here? Is it a metaphor?
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3answers
877 views

Look who's talking

English isn’t my main language, so maybe this isn’t a tough one. Is there a metaphor to say “he’s talking about this deed as a wrong one but he certainly does it too’? In Spanish, you could say ...
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1answer
219 views

We haven't been able to use the fan for a fortnight

In a John Clarke and Brian Dawe interview, the phrase,"we haven't been able to use the fan for nearly a fortnight." What metaphoric expression was this phrase actually referring to? I've googled for ...
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3answers
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Is it a poke in the eye with a sharp, or blunt stick?

Is it "better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick", or "better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick"? I suspect that some sort of metaphor testing facility in the Discworld concluded that ...
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5answers
505 views

Short phrase for “things I did (wrote, drew, created, etc) when I was younger”?

What's a one or two word phrase that conveys the meaning "These are some things that I did when I was younger."? The context is a blog that features Writings, Photography, and Artwork. The short ...
3
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2answers
887 views

A “human cue tip”?

I am watching the excellent documentary "Nobelity" by Turk Pipkin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobelity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turk_Pipkin 4 minutes into the movie, there is a bit that I don'...
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1answer
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Ways to say methods of doing things

I saw a lot of usage of machinery, mechanism, to be used with similar meaning as techniques, ways, methods,.... For example, my math teacher said the machinery in the proof of some theorem is not ...
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4answers
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What is the origin and meaning of “coyote ugly”?

I overheard two scoundrels discussing one of their dates as being "coyote ugly".
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7answers
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Who were the 'pros from Dover'?

I was reading Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy this morning, and he compares his characters to the 'pros from Dover'. This was a phrase that I also remember hearing in the movie M*A*S*H - so it seems to be ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What does “piracy pirates” mean?

What does the following phrase mean? In Soviet Russia, piracy pirates YOU. What is implied by "piracy pirates YOU" and what by "IN Soviet Russia"? Update 1: My difficulty was because the term ...
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3answers
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literally as a hyperbole [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Literally” and “Decimate” misuse I have seen a lot of backlash in internet media against people using the word literally to mean something not ...
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3answers
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What does a “meteoric rise” imply?

Does the phrase "meteoric rise" connote that the rise is short-lived? Particularly bright? Generally lateral? It just seems like a meteor is not the best metaphor for a triumphant and lasting ...
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2answers
4k views

Anthropomorphism vs Personification usage

There seems to be a large overlap in the definitions of Anthropomorphism and Personification and they are somewhat interchangeable, but in what context is one of these words preferred over another? ...
15
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1answer
11k views

Similes and Metaphors - are similes a subset of metaphors?

I've always been taught that metaphors and similes both draw a parallel between two disparate ideas/thoughts/objects, but that a simile is a more explicit comparison using the word "like" or "is", ...
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3answers
17k views

What is the origin of the phrase “another string to your bow”

Specifically - what kind of bow? I assume it refers to an archer's bow, but I guess it could relate to a bow used to play a stringed instrument (like a violin). Also, I've heard it used in the sense ...
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2answers
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Is there a fine line between symbolism and metaphors in literature?

Assume we have a literary masterpiece that is abundant in symbolism and metaphors. Within this masterpiece, the author uses a brook running through a glade of trees to represent a couple of things ...