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What Is a Metaphor?

A metaphor asserts that one thing is something that it literally is not. A metaphor is
a figure of speech.
Examples of Metaphors
Here are some examples of metaphors:
1. She is a fox.
2. Dave is a bad apple.
3. His face was a blue moon pocked with craters.
4. Her eyes were darting searchlights, scanning the room for her rival.
5. An icy stare
Metaphors are not always easy to spot. They are not always in the form "A = B" like the
first four examples above. Sometimes, a metaphor is an adjective that modifies a noun,
as in the fifth example.
The bottom line is this: If something is being re-identified as (i.e., not compared to)
something that it literally is not, then you're looking at a metaphor.
Famous Metaphors (Examples)
Here are some metaphors by famous people:
6. Conscience is a mans compass.
(Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890)
7. All religions, arts, and sciences are branches of the same tree.
(Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, 1879-1955)
8. All at once he was alone in this noisy hive with no place to roost.
(Tom Wolfe)
Funny Metaphors (Examples)
Here are some funny metaphors:
9. Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke.

John and Mary had never met. They were two hummingbirds who had also never


True friends stab you in the front.

(Oscar Wilde)

What Is a Simile?
A simile is a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another. This is usually
achieved by the use of the word like or as.
Examples of Similes
Here are some examples of similes:
1. I am as poor as a church mouse.
2. He is hungry like a wolf.
3. She sings like an angel.
Famous Similes (Examples)
Here are some similes by famous people:
4. A room without books is like a body without a soul.
(Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106 BC - 43 BC)
5. Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.
(Credited to English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello)
6. Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.
(American novelist Edna Ferber, 1887-1968)
Funny Similes (Examples)
Here are some funny similes:
7. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real
duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

Duct tape is like the force it has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the
universe together. (Carl Zwanzig)


Dealing with network executives is like being nibbled to death by ducks. (Eric


I'm as pure as the driven slush. (Tallulah Bankhead, 1903-1968)


Her vocabulary was like, yeah, whatever.

What Is Hyperbole?
Hyperbole is exaggeration or extravagant statement used for effect.
With hyperbole, the literal meaning is not the intended meaning. Hyperbole is deliberate
exaggeration, which is often witty and usually for emphasis.
Hyperbole Is a Form of Figurative Language
Hyperbole is classified as figurative language, which is the use of words in an unusual
or imaginative manner.
Figurative language includes the use of metaphors, similes, personification,
idiom, euphemisms, and pun.
Examples of Hyperbole
1. I have been there millions of times and have never seen one.
2. Your auntie will have a fit when she sees that.
3. The best lager in the world
4. I could eat a scabby donkey.
5. I lost a ton of money in Vegas.
6. I am so hungry I could eat a horse.
7. I have a million things to do.
8. I had to walk 15 miles to school in the snow, uphill.
9. If I cant buy that new game, I will die.
10. He is as skinny as a toothpick.
11. This car goes faster than the speed of light.

What Is Personification?
Personification is ascribing a human trait or ability to a concept or a non-human object.
Personification is an example of figure language, which is the use of words in an
unusual or imaginative manner. Personification can be considered a metaphor, which
asserts that one thing is something that it literally is not.
Examples of Personification
1. The trees whispered in the wind.
2. The flowers danced in the grass.
3. The sun kissed the ocean.
4. I could hear the hamburger calling my name.
5. "Oreo: Milks favorite cookie."
(slogan on a package of Oreo cookies)
6. The wind stood up and gave a shout.
He whistled on his fingers and
Kicked the withered leaves about
And thumped the branches with his hand
And said he'd kill and kill and kill,
And so he will! And so he will!
(James Stephens, "The Wind")
7. "Only the champion daisy trees were serene. After all, they were part of a rain
forest already two thousand years old and scheduled for eternity, so they ignored
the men and continued to rock the diamondbacks that slept in their arms. It took
the river to persuade them that indeed the world was altered."
(Toni Morrison, Tar Baby, 1981)
8. "The small waves were the same, chucking the rowboat under the chin as we
fished at anchor."
(E.B. White, "Once More to the Lake," 1941)
9. "The road isn't built that can make it breathe hard!"
(slogan for Chevrolet automobiles)
10. "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing
(P.G. Wodehouse, Very Good, Jeeves, 1930)
You Can Use Speech Marks with Personification
You can use speech marks to show your readers that a word is not being used in its
true sense. Speech marks are therefore acceptable with personification. For example:
11. These waves "know" when you're not holding on.
The use of speech marks to show personification is not popular with writers as most feel
it reduces the impact of the personification.

What Is an Idiom?
An idiom is a commonly used expression whose meaning does not relate to the literal
meaning of its words.
Some Common Examples of Idioms
1. He's been pushing up the daisies for a year.(He's been dead for a year.)
2. Let's paint the town red.(Let's have a good time in town.)
3. She has a bun in the oven(She is pregnant.)
4. He was just a flash in the pan.
(The idiom a flash in the pan means something which shows potential at the start but
fails thereafter.)
5. He is trying to be a good Samaritan.
(A good Samaritan is a person who helps someone in need with no thought of a
6. Does he have an axe to grind?
(To have an axe to grind means to have a dispute with someone. )
7. We should let sleeping dogs lie.
(To let sleeping dogs lie means to o avoid restarting a conflict.)
8. "Hat trick" - Scoring successively three times in a sport
9. "Fill someone's shoes" - Get someone else's place.
10. "The buck stops here." - Taking up the responsibility for something, in place of
finding fault in someone else.
11. "The fat's in the fire" - The damage is already complete.
An Idiom Is a Form of Figurative Language
Idioms are classified as figurative language, which is the use of words in an unusual or
imaginative manner.

What Is a Euphemism?
A euphemism is the use of agreeable or inoffensive words to replace rude or offensive
Examples of Euphemisms
1. He has passed away.
(Euphemism for He has died.)
2. He is between jobs.
(Euphemism for He is unemployed.)
3. He has resigned his commission.
(Euphemism for He has been sacked.)
4. He is a little thin on top.
(Euphemism for He is losing his hair.)
More Examples of Common Euphemisms
Here are some more commonly used euphemisms:
a few sandwiches short of a picnic mad
cognitively challenged


didnt make it

has died

differently abled


exotic dancer


kicked the bucket

has died

knocked up

is pregnant

letting you go

you're fired

lost his marbles


over the hill

too old to function effectively

visually challenged

visually impaired

What is irony?
Irony is a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended
meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. It may also be a situation
that may end up in quite a different way than what is generally anticipated. In simple
words, it is a difference between the appearance and the reality.

1. I posted a video on YouTube about how boring and useless YouTube is.
2. The name of Britains biggest dog was Tiny.
3. You laugh at a person who slipped stepping on a banana peel and the next thing
you know, you slipped too.
4. The butter is as soft as a marble piece.
5. Oh great! Now you have broken my new camera.
6. One of the identical twins says to the other, "You're ugly!"
7. I saw a fish drowning.
8. Many things can be preserved in alcohol. Dignity is not one of them.
9. Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.
10. Marriage is the leading cause of Adivorce