Questions tagged [metaphors]

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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Simile or metaphor that describes constant change over the years

I'm writing an essay about the amendments and how the situation is different now than when they were created and because of those changes, the amendments must also change to protect the citizen's ...
hannah's user avatar
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What is a word for when an analogy could be used for both sides of an argument?

A person might say on one day: It is hot outside - let's go out for a picnic! It is healthy. Another person might say on the same day in the same place: It is hot outside - stay inside where it is ...
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What is the meaning of "the granite moulding of the inflexible jaw"?

I am quoting from the Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Missing Three Quarter by Arthur Conan Doyle : "Yet even without knowing his brilliant record one could not fail to be impressed by a mere ...
aissam's user avatar
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Technical term for parts of a metaphor [duplicate]

What's the technical term for the "argument" of a metaphor? For example: The world is a vampire, set to drain Bullet with Butterfly Wings, Smashing Pumpkins (1995). "Vampire" is ...
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Samey metaphors -v- unlike metaphors

Often metaphors are likenesses where there's a direct connection. For example on the news somebody describes a crash/ earthquake/ explosion as It was like a bomb going off. What about where the two ...
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5 answers
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A word to cover meanings of religion, mysticism, occult, and philosophy

Is there a word (or maybe a metaphor) to cover the idea of religion, mysticism, occult, and philosophy all together? In other words, how would you name a bookshelf with books and other texts by or ...
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Word, term or phrase for idioms, proverbs, figure-of-speech that lose their true meaning due to being from a different time or due to translation? [duplicate]

In various language literature, there could be idioms, proverbs, figure-of-speech that lose their true meaning because it meant something in a different time period Or it was being translated from ...
crazyTech's user avatar
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Malady vs Disease

How does the word malady differ from disease? Also,in what contexts can the word malady be used? Below are my findings / details I have collected about the two: Many dictionaries list the word ...
Selfie groufie's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
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American English Slang Phrase for "see you in court"?

I'm trying to recall a phrase it goes along the lines of "choose ___" where ___ is a number. OR "pick ___" (I can't remember which word exactly). The explanation of the phrase is ...
Sidharth Ghoshal's user avatar
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2 answers
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Usage of crutch when referred to avoid

Recently, while going through a book I encounter this statement. Try to avoid the crutch of saying "I feel like." As in, "I feel like you are being mean to me." I am trying to ...
Sumit Singh's user avatar
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Which literary device is "the only place to put the pieces were the bags under my eyes"?

I am writing a few paragraphs about Rupi Kaur's poetry. I've been trying to think about which literary device is used in this example. In milk and honey, written by Rupi Kaur, she states: "the ...
Arden's user avatar
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36 votes
7 answers
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What does "darkest Africa" refer to?

Many times in my life, I have heard phrases such as "in darkest Africa...", seemingly to refer to somewhere in Africa. It is never explained, and appears to be considered so obvious as to ...
R. Aue's user avatar
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What is meant when light is like a benediction?

I've recently undertaken to expand and enrich my vocabulary, but the word "benediction" has me stumped. I believe I have a good sense of the denotative meaning, but the connotative meaning ...
A.L. Ion's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
324 views

Idiom/metaphor for a constant figure in a certain place

I was wondering if there were any idioms or cliched metaphors commonly used to describe someone who you can always expect to see in a certain place because they spend a lot of time there (or even ...
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A metaphor for something that changes for a narrative about my name

I am writing a narrative for a class and I have been stuck on metaphors for a specific part! My name has changed quite a few times throughout my life and I wanted to highlight this through use of ...
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1 answer
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What is a metaphor or adjective to describe something that has gone through changes and will never be the same again?

I've been thinking about this for an hour and browsing for a definition, but nothing has come up. It would be great if someone can give me something with a meaning similar to what I'm asking for.
needhelpwithenglish12312312's user avatar
6 votes
10 answers
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Alternative metaphor to ‘Blank Canvas’

I’m trying to use a metaphor along the lines of something ripe for exploration something multifaceted something full of many possibilities Blank canvas roughly fits some of the above, but it’s very ...
Maria's user avatar
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In the word "plain", what is the metaphor underlying the sense "explicit, clear, evident"?

According to etymonline.com, the word plain (as used in e.g. explain or plain English) first appeared in the sense of "flat, smooth, even". Later, the sense of "explicit, clear, evident&...
Michael's user avatar
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Meaning of "press the TV viewers' personal buttons"

In his book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Carl Sagan wrote the following item in a list of ideas about how to put more science on television: Regular exposés of pernicious ...
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Metaphorical reference to a specific person/place [duplicate]

Is there a grammatical term that describes the use of a figurative reference in place of directly naming a specific person, place or thing? Terms such as metaphor, metonym, etc. apply to classes (eg. &...
Gholson's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is Einstein's geodesic a metaphor or an idiom? [closed]

Is Einstein's geodesic a metaphor or an idiom? I am applying semantic theory to physical theory to bridge the two realities and have found the discussion on metaphor and odium illuminates this purpose....
Mark Hooper's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
185 views

What's the meaning of "to keep the plumbing going?" [closed]

The following excerpt is from "Measure What Matters" by John Doerr. Could you please help me find out what "to keep the plumbing going" means in this context. Is it an idiomatic ...
Saeed Zargarian's user avatar
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1 answer
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Rock star. Is it a metaphor?

Is "rock star" in this context a metaphor? This is (a specific tour) the rock star of all Britain and Ireland vacations.
Tanya Shalepina's user avatar
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1 answer
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Metaphorical Meaning of "The Offing"

Question I would like to know whether the title of Benjamin Myers's novel The Offing can be interpreted as a metaphor for "going away", "vanishing", "deceasing". I am not ...
Jonathan Scholbach's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
246 views

What is Dickens’ “fly-catcher”?

This is a passage from Dickens’ Little Dorrit, chapter 11. Emphasised words relate to the question below. ‘Ah Heaven, then,’ said she. ‘When the boat came up from Lyons, and brought the news that the ...
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Is there a metaphorical word for "Seeing without being Seen"?

I was wondering, there might be parts of a fort, military establishments where they employ the technique of seeing without being seen. Please help me out by listing the words that hint at the ...
ShadySivagami's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
260 views

Is the verb "to see" a metaphor?

For example, when one thinks an argument is invalid, one can say "I see this argument as invalid". Nevertheless, I always thought a metaphor requires, at minimum, requires two object/ideas; ...
rux23's user avatar
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How does one differentiate a "conceptual metaphor" from other kinds of metaphor?

There is a rather long list of metaphors: standard (stock) metaphors, extended metaphors, visual metaphors, implied metaphors, mixed metaphors, allegorical metaphors, absolute metaphors dead metaphors,...
rux23's user avatar
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4 answers
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What's a metaphor/idiom for when someone asks for help with a problem that you also have?

To elaborate, the implication is that you can't help them, because if you knew how to, you wouldn't be in the situation yourself. I could've sworn I heard there was already an established phrase for ...
Amelia's user avatar
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2 answers
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Does "literally" conflict with a figurative reference? [closed]

He literally wrote the book on OWI defense and then proceeds to throw it at prosecutors by deftly picking apart their cases, point by point. Does "literally" conflict with the figurative ...
Sue's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Are proverbs and metaphors the same thing? [duplicate]

Are all proverbs considered metaphors or does it depend? Here are a couple of proverbs for which I would like to know if they are metaphors or just statements: Rome wasn't built in a day. The best-...
Michael Munta's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
476 views

How does "sinking lid" work as a metaphor?

A "sinking lid" refers to a policy where employee numbers are reduced by not replacing employees that leave voluntarily (retire or resign). Ref: https://www.lexico.com/definition/sinking_lid ...
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"...The merry children spilling out of their homes..." What is the figure of speech here? [duplicate]

What is the poetic device in the line 'the merry children spilling out of their homes'? This is taken from the poem "My Mother at Sixty-six" written by Kamala Das, an Indian poet (the poem ...
Adil Mohammed's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
109 views

What is the meaning of "ripening in the shade" as a metaphor?

In David Copperfield, Dickens wrote, "Sometimes a life glides away, and finds it still ripening in the shade." I understand some idea of a ripening life but not "in the shade".
IronStar's user avatar
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Good alternatives to "circus" metaphors for tension (juggling, plate spinning, tightropes etc)?

In my writing, reviewing strategy games, I often have cause to describe a process whereby someone has to deal with large amounts of conflicting priorities and information. I've noticed that in doing ...
Bob Tway's user avatar
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0 answers
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Use "which" or "what" in a sentence with a metaphor/analogy [duplicate]

I'm currently trying to translate a text in English, that I wrote in French. It is a bit complicating when it comes to my writing style, as in French we tend (I do) to use a lot of analogies and ...
Louisa's user avatar
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2 answers
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Is this lyric a metaphor?

From a Swedish song (translated): Standing at your door, just standing still A minute ago, you were mine A third of who I was goes home Because one is crushed, one is yours This is the end of our ...
emeliec's user avatar
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2 answers
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Is there a metaphor to say "it's named this way for a reason"

I was wondering is there an English or American metaphor or phrase to say it has been called this way for a reason? Suppose I want to say this The private key is called private for a reason! Is ...
Anonymous's user avatar
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1 answer
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What does "dedicate shrines" mean?

The sentence: They are experiencing 40% inflation, so if they get to 20% inflation (that is still high) they would dedicate shrines. I searched it a lot but didn't get an answer that makes sense!
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1 vote
0 answers
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Inverse of the African proverb "The axe forgets; the tree remembers"

There is an african proverb that says "The axe forgets; the tree remembers", meaning the person who hurt another forgets but the person who gets hurt remembers. Is there an inverse to this? ...
Shrey Joshi's user avatar
21 votes
4 answers
4k views

What's the meaning of "wooden loaf", the famous expression used by Gandhi to define the Independence of India?

I came across this expression while reading about the history of Indian Independence. The expression is well known, but I cannot understand its meaning. Does loaf mean piece of bread? But then what is ...
Cicc's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is the origin of the phrase "play a part/role"?

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: play a part/role to have an effect or influence on something Does this phrase come from the theater or somewhere else? From thefreedictionary.com: ...
Eagle's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can “Tentacles” be used for branches?

Reading through the following sentence It had been my father’s word which had got me a footing in the multinational company which had its tentacles in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Oxford ...
Rachayita's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
983 views

A metaphor for people living up or down to their reputation

I have been asked to improve my question. Can anyone help with the full quote and derivation thereof for a metaphor that begins “give a dog a bad name and hear (or see) him bark”? My understanding is ...
Heather R's user avatar
23 votes
9 answers
19k views

You have the watches, but we have the time

This quote is associated with the Taliban in reference to the US occupation of Afghanistan. I understand the metaphorical meaning of the quote — i.e. the point that it makes. But I am intrigued by the ...
Karl's user avatar
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1 answer
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What do the highlighted parts mean in this piece of writing?

From The Paris Review: I was away from home and walking to a bar to celebrate something privately, and I paused on my way to watch the moon move, its blond glow shifting bonier as it tracked its path ...
user405662's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
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If you can insert the word "like" and "as" into what people assume is a metaphor, isn't it really a simile? [duplicate]

In this article: https://blog.prepscholar.com/simile-vs-metaphor The author uses a popular Katy Perry lyric "baby you're a firework" as an example of a metaphor. Katy Perry could just have ...
Iain Dooley's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
113 views

Was V.S. Naipaul correct that "the buckle of the Bible Belt” contains mixed metaphors?

In his travel book A Turn in the South, he writes, "The magazine in my hotel room, mixing its metaphors, said that Nashville was 'the buckle of the Bible Belt.'" Was he ...
Michael's user avatar
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1 answer
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What does it mean "It’s raining men"? [closed]

What does it mean "It’s raining men"? I got this in this paragraph: Metaphor - Describing something by using a word that isn’t literally relevant. For example, “It’s raining men”, “I’m ...
zell's user avatar
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1 answer
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What did James Baldwin mean by "as clean as a bone"?

In his interview with The Paris Review, James Baldwin in answer to the question "As your experience about writing accrues, what would you say increases with knowledge?", says: You learn how ...
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