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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20 views

What does “Policymakers have effectively crossed the Rubicon with respect to Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)” mean?

i know what does "cross Rubicon" means, and in my understanding this sentence means "policymakers now have nothing to do but to follow MMT". Am I right?
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144 views

What's the meaning of the expression “pinstripe rodeo”?

What kind of a situation or event might be described as a pinstripe rodeo?
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“Fork(s) of the road” to “fork in the road”. Why the switch? [closed]

I was reading a recent New Yorker article: "How the Promise of Normalcy Won the 1920 Election" (Sept. 14, 2020) Where the Democratic nominee for President of the US, James M. Cox of Ohio, ...
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Idioms or metaphors for “I'm curious to know why, but it seems I'll never know”

I had a technical issue and no one from customer service had any idea why it happened. But after a few days, my computer problem just got resolved mysteriously. I got too invested into the problem and ...
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“consumers” referring to “pupils”

In the following sentence, "consumers" means "consumers of education." Is this a metaphor, or an ordinary use of the word? Education Ministers ought to have placed the interests ...
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Love of Home and Friends—like the ridge behind a Bunker! (Meaning)

I'm translating a fable by George Ade called "The Fable of the Visitor Who Got a Lot for Three Dollars." In the following extract, the phrenologist is telling his customer how he is based on ...
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3answers
110 views

What's the origin of metaphor “to give someone ammo”? [closed]

In last decade I often encounter this phrase used as "giving the opponent a legit argument against yourself" while discussing an unfolding drama or conflict. While I understand the meaning, ...
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33 views

What phrase means “the minimum you need to take part”?

A while ago I came across a phrase that succinctly described how a new or existing business might need to offer some basic service in order to compete meaningfully. It may have been sporting or ...
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2answers
194 views

Metaphors for air [closed]

I am in search of a nice metaphor for air — I find nothing when searching online, and currently nothing seems to be coming to mind. The only thing I have found is: Air is the ether of space but I ...
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What is the opposite of a metaphorical barrier?

I am trying to find a noun that describes a person that enables others to be more productive. The opposite of that is a roadblock or barrier. My first thought was a sail, since the addition of another ...
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Buried in a sea (of data) - mixed metaphor?

I wrote something was "buried in a sea of data", and an editor flagged it as a "mixed metaphor". To me it sounds idiomatic, and I don't see a problem with it. I figure the strict ...
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What is the meaning of the “narrow” road/path metaphor?

All my life, I've regularly heard phrases such as: Walk on the narrow road, never steering off into Hell! Don't listen to the Devil trying to lure you into his dark path! This, to me, metaphorically ...
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Balancing two options by multiple opposing arguments, alternatives to “on the one hand … on the other hand”

Is it possible to use the construction on the one hand ... on the other hand with multiple complex arguments supporting two opposing options? I have doubts. Usually it looks like this: "On the ...
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Is the “Secret Policeman's Ball” an allusion to bribery?

The Secret Policeman's Ball were a series of benefit shows. However, is the phrase "buying a ticket to the Secret Policeman's Ball" an allusion to paying a bribe?
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What is a synonym for the phrase 'at odds' with someone or something?

I am writing a book and looking for some kind of figurative language to describe two people that are 'at odds' with each other. When I say, 'at odds,' the context of my writing is: two characters that ...
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Is this called a metaphor or how would you describe it?

I posted a photo of me on social media back when I was living in a different country, doing a different job, living a different kind of life. So much has changed in my life since then that it seems ...
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What does “legal gambit” mean as a metaphor?

The legal gambit has become an annual event, according to a report in The Orlando Sentinel, and the company recently won a victory reducing the taxes the county wanted to collect on one of its hotels.
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Does any of the following sound metaphorically correct?

"This data has been sitting on my hard drive for years." OR "This data has been sitting in my hard drive for years."
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What does Goliath mean here? [closed]

Here’s the context: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/07/can-an-unloved-child-learn-to-love/612253/ In a rental car, I drive slowly around the semicircles and cul-de-sacs of Izidor’s ...
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214 views

What is the difference between 'transferred epithet' and 'metaphor'?

In the poem 'My Mother at Sixty-six' by Kamala Das (which I have attached below), what is the poetic device in the line 'the merry children spilling out of their homes'? I feel like it should be ...
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Idioms for keeping the big picture in mind while picking out the details

As above -- I'm looking for suitable phrases, metaphors or idioms -- standard or invented -- for keeping the big picture in mind while picking out selected details. This is related to a previous ...
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Cherry-picking — from a bowl, a tree or a cake?

I'm looking for information on the background of the cherry-picking metaphor -- cherry-picking as in: to select only the best of something. The image of 'picking cherries' is clear, but where are the ...
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Which verb (burn/boil/melt) is appropriate to describe that the temperature is high?

I'm trying to find an appropriate verb to say that the temperature is high. Actually the question can be split into two parts. Which verb is appropriate to use with a person (e.g. I)? It's over 30°...
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Alternatives to “simpler is better”?

I've been thinking about idioms, metaphors, and phrases one could use in a conversation to convey the idea that simpler is better. I came up with a few: "Don't scratch your left ear with your ...
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Epithet, Stylistic Device

Can you please tell me whether in the following sentence the naked light is an epithet or not, thanks in advance. I lived by night and shunned the naked light of day.
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Word for when something makes something else seems smaller in a relative manner

I'm trying to think of a word that is somehow alluding me. Imagine two people are speaking loudly, but then a third person begins shouting even louder. The third persons voice has made the other two ...
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“It's not a lottery ticket I'd like to buy.” - idiom or metaphor?

Is "It's not a lottery ticket I'd like to buy" an example of an idiom or a metaphor in this extract? Or could it be something different altogether? Context: Despite the chance that people ...
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What’s phrase that people use to eat as much as you want? [closed]

I love expressions and phrases. But I was wondering and I could recall that when parents have their children eat, there are those who force the food down their throats and those who let them eat as ...
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Metaphor for creativity

What is a good metaphor for a person that is creative, or for creativity in general? I find nothing when searching and nothing really comes to my mind? Help appreciated!
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What's the meaning & story behind this `Streisand`?

I saw following paragraph from: https://basecamp.com/gettingreal/16.1-start-your-engines You need people who are passionate about what they do. People who care about their craft — and actually ...
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Can we use “next of kin” for things as a metaphor?

Wheat has been man's next of kin. Does this sentence make sense to native English speakers?? It's supposed to be a simile, meaning wheat is like family to humans. It's a translated sentence from a ...
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Is there a word for somone who constantly speaks their mind? [duplicate]

In this pandemic there are a lot of people who are speaking their mind without restraint. So, I was thinking about what phrase would describe that. I felt it had to do with like “open spout" or "...
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Mirages and other metaphors

The word mirage, when used metaphorically, can mean a false hope of a desperate person. But it would also seem to make sense to use that metaphor to mean an initial appearance that vanishes on closer ...
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Where does the concept of “big brother sees you” come from? [closed]

I don't mean the metaphor "big brother" or "Big Brother" as in the government or other powerful entity. I mean the original meaning of "big brother sees you". I am a big brother. Or was. I never ...
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Is “The blue boat is an extension of my legs” a metaphor?

In the book "The Kayak" by Debbie Spring comes the sentence, "The blue boat is an extension of my legs." Is this phrase an example of a metaphor?
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Metaphor example

On my daughter’s homework she was supposed to write a sentence with a metaphor in. She wrote: “After engaging in a 30-second battle with the chimney, a man dressed in red....” It was marked wrong ...
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What is "soured aesthetic“?

I read the line from this article. https://www.frameawards.com/project/3004210-wemarket Can someone explain what does "common soured aesthetic" mean in the last paragraph? and, "This buzz associated ...
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Metaphor or Hyperbole: The strength given by my mother is bigger than the cosmic energy in this cosmos

This question appeared on a verbal test. I could only mark one option but I think both of them are a good fit. This is a metaphor as there is a comparison between two unlike things. This should also ...
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61 views

Unrelated actions

I'm looking for a word that describes the choice between two unrelated actions. Example "do you walk to school or take your lunch?" The word sounds like non-secular or noncircular.
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Looking for a word meaning “two things maximally mirror each other in symbolism”

I am looking for a word to describe the situation where two things are highly analogous, or parallel in symbolism, meaning, interpretation or purpose. In the field of biology, we say that two ...
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The dog started barking after the thief had left the place six months ago [duplicate]

It is like a dog barking six months after the thief left. This is an Indian Idiom and is used when someone fails to do their duty at the right time and makes unnecessary fuss very late after the ...
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134 views

Does the barking of a dog diminish the value of a priest? [duplicate]

Does a barking of a dog diminish the value of a priest? The above is an Idiom from Indian languages.A dog stands metophorically for the inferior people.The priest stands for ...
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Why did Asquith LJ metaphorize unaccepted repudiation as 'a thing writ in water'?

O'Sullivan & Hilliard's The Law of Contract (2018 8 ed). p. 373. 15.50 It was famously declared in Howard v Pickford Tool Co Ltd (1951) that an ‘unaccepted repudiation is a thing writ in ...
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2 possible outcomes: 1 strongly desired

I'm looking for a powerful way to describe the fact that -after performing a certain activity- there are only two possible outcomes: 1) It's a great success (only in 20% of cases) 2) It's of no or ...
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Does the metaphor “Swiss Army knife” have a negative connotation?

I've always understood the Swiss Army knife metaphor as it describes something to be generally useful, multi-purpose, and adaptable. Recently when reading an article, a commenter used this metaphor 1....
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I'm looking for a specific idiom/metaphor used in a business context

I work in business and I have a vendor providing a service and product for me. The vendor is self-reporting that what they are providing is correct and accurate (versus a third-party auditor ...
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The meaning of “April moon” [closed]

There are words in the song "Mad about You" by Sting A stone's throw from Jerusalem I walked a lonely mile in the moonlight And though a million stars were shining My heart was lost on a ...
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Properly transfer quote “stars should shine” into English

In Russian there is a sentence that can be directly translated as: "Stars should shine". But the nature of this statement means that talents should be exposed. Is it applicable in English to have this ...
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Field Guide meaning

There is a book by George Lakoff named "More than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor" I wonder what "Field Guide" means here. In Wikipedia it is mentioned that: A field guide is a book ...
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“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” but with a more negative connotation [duplicate]

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It means: what matters is what something is, not what it's called. I feel like this phrase has a very positive ...

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