When it comes to the concept and context of metaphor and analogy (rather than other comparators or comparisons in general), the device is used to describe something else in different terms. Metaphors etc. are used when there is something to describe that is hard to understand (among other uses).

In hebrew, the word for metaphor/analogy is מָשָׁל, "mashal". Every מָשָׁל has a נִמְשַׁל, a "nimshal", which is the Niphal stem (generally passive/reflexive) form of מָשָׁל

the original thing that is now being made into a מָשָׁל

What is the word for נִמְשַׁל in english? I am thinking maybe "analogue", but not sure. I've seen it before, so I know it exists, I just can't remember it.


Computer hardware is like a bit like the human brain. The CPU is like the cortex, RAM is like short term working memory and storage is like long term memories.

If the brain is the analogy, the CPU is the ____ ?

EDIT: The word tenor has been suggested, however I would like to find another word, to research suitable sense of tenor not given at Webster's Dictionary, that might appear more of a fit in the context of "analogy" and/or "metaphor"

  • I'll write you an official answer of moral. The moral of the story is seek and ye shall find. Oh, wrong Testament. Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 13:46
  • @YosefBaskin don't worry, that's based on the right Testament ('if you seek Him He will be found', Chronicles 1:28:9). However, moral only applies to moral parables. I want a more general term
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 13:49
  • Could you provide some specific examples of the general use you mean.
    – dubious
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 14:15
  • Google Translate offers only the "moral" for nimshal. Even more literally, you could go with the analogized, the most direct translation. Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 14:18
  • 1
    I'd suggest 'In the metaphor John is a tiger / John is like a tiger', 'John' is often called the tenor and the thing he is compared (in part) to, a typical tiger, is called the vehicle. Is there another term for 'tenor' as used here: the person / thing we are illustrating by comparison?' You could add research (perhaps 'suitable sense of tenor not given at Webstar's Dictionary'). Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


The Wikipedia article for analogy says the following:

Analogy [...] is a cognitive process of transferring information or meaning from a particular subject (the analog, or source) to another (the target), or a linguistic expression corresponding to such a process.

In the provided example, the brain is the analog/source and the CPU is the target.

There is also a section discussing the terminology.

  • So analog/analogue is incorrect, as that's just another way of saying analogy
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 16:51

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