we use the word "suits" to refer to policemen.

What is the word that describes this action? I had read this word in the book "HHhH", but for the life of me, I can't seem to recall it...

  • 1
    Who uses the word "suits" to refer to policemen?
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Jan 3 '13 at 15:58
  • 3
  • @MSPune: What part of the English-speaking world do you hail from? I don't hear suits = police being used in the UK, where suits are normally bankers, senior corporate managers and others whose primary allegiance is to Mammon, rather than to human creativity. Jan 3 '13 at 17:18

Metonymy (“The use of a single characteristic or name of an object to identify an entire object or related object”) is one such word – as I now see RegDwighт pointed out a half hour ago.

  • +1, just so. dictionary.reference.com/browse/metonymy gives similar examples, *as “scepter” for “sovereignty,” or “the bottle” for “strong drink,” or “count heads (or noses)” for “count people.” *
    – rajah9
    Jan 3 '13 at 17:02
  • More specifically, it is a synecdoche.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 3 '13 at 18:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.