Questions tagged [figurative-language]

For questions about language where the words have meaning other than their literal sense. For example, metaphor or simile.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
0answers
110 views

Figure of speech of “that i really needed him” [closed]

What is the figure of speech of this statement "that I really needed him"
0
votes
0answers
28 views

May good health envelop you, spurring a quick recovery

Is there anything wrong with the following sentence? Is the metaphor "envelop you" used correctly? May good health envelop you, spurring a quick recovery. I'd appreciate your help.
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Is “slip of an object” a personification?

On an ordinary day, you might miss this slip of a shop wedged between a veterinary clinic and a grocery store in Paris' popular Bastille. NPR: The Last Razor Repairman In Paris a young and slender ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

What is the common meaning of the word smell when used as a metaphor or in idioms?

I have come across expressions like: I can smell a rat. It smells fishy They could smell his fear. I understand what these mean. However, I would like to know if there is a common meaning behind ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

To rewind the tape to where or when?

When we say let's rewind the tape to in a figurative sense, do we use to when ... or to where ...? E.g.: Let's rewind the tape to when we left. Or: Let's rewind the tape to where we left. Are both ...
-1
votes
2answers
40 views

Does “it argues ill” mean the same as “augurs ill”?

Does "commend" mean "praise"? Does "it argues ill" mean the same as "augurs ill" or not? Dr. (afterwards Professor) Balfour Stewart, in a communication to ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Figurative Meaning of “Migrate”

It wasn't clear whether Jett had been the mastermind behind this accounting glitch or if more senior management had been aware of the false profits, but these two facts were clear: (1) Kidder's ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

unusual usage of bellowing

Explosions shook the ground, artillery shells, mortars and bombs continuously rained down, fires blazed, and smoke bellowed high into the sky. Doesn't bellowing mean "make a loud sound"? If that'...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Meaning of the phrase 'pitching black ropes'

I was reading 'Shutter Island' by Dennis Lehane and I stumbled at this phrase: Later, he got sick, repeatedly and violently, pitching black ropes of it over the side of his father's boat and into ...
1
vote
1answer
14 views

Metonymy of curtain

Immediately, the heavy velvet folds hid the stage from the audience, Farrar was up on her feet, and she and Caruso were having it out between them, whilst I tried. I am wondering if we can ...
2
votes
1answer
725 views

Is my nationality Dutch or Netherlands?

I'm from the Netherlands. English has taught me to say "I'm Dutch". But through many travels I've noticed that non-native English speakers confuse this with "Deutsch", which is German for, well, ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Proper use of “lay” and “lie” in figurative present tense

I know there are multiple threads regarding proper use of "lay" and "lie", but I'm hoping to get some additional insight to distinguish their usage when used in figurative form. Which of the following ...
0
votes
3answers
309 views

The figure of speech 'It's your party ' meaning

What does 'It's your party' mean as a figure of speech? After reading the book Harry Potter and the Deathly hallows one doubt remained with me. In the chapter King's cross there is this dialogue ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Please interpret and analyze sentences

i have a one simple question. This is the lyric from the movie 'tangled'. "All those years outside looking in" I'd like to know more about this phrase. "outside looking in" Does that mean you're ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Meaning of “speak the language of”

I have come across the expression “speak the language of” a lot on news. But I am not sure about its exact meaning. I find one entry in OED which seems to be relevant. Language: b. The ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

What is to trip down the aisle?

Check the box office for great seats! The smash hit musical based on the songs of ABBA MAMMA MIA! A mother. A daughter. 3 possible dads. And a trip down ...
1
vote
3answers
60 views

When is “may” a fact?

Why is "may" found in sentences that express fact? For example: "They may be friends, but that doesn't meant that they don't fight." "I may be 63, but I can still dance out the evening."
33
votes
6answers
7k views

“When you Frankenstein a team together…” - Is “Frankenstein” a new verb?

I did not know that "Frankenstein" can be used as a verb. Max Kellerman, a highly reputed sports analyst working for ESPN, says "When you Frankenstein a team together, usually it doesn't work ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

How can I interpret “soundtrack” here?

Architecture and design guru William T. Georgis designed his dramatic pool for his private West Coast getaway. A raised planter ingeniously created planting space at the foot of a large retaining ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

Understanding - “Cantaloupe-colored sunrises … all kinds of things that didn't include black plastic mountains of trash and the smell of dog urine.”

I am helping a friend who is preparing for their GRE (Graduate Record Examinations). In the "reading comprehension" section, there is a passage and then there are some questions. While I can easily ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Is “of blue” in order to mean “blue” grammatical?

Is "of blue" in order to mean "blue" grammatical? I am wondering if saying "blue sky" means the same thing as "sky of blue"? Is it grammatical? How idiomatic it is? I've seen some passage use similar ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“March to the beat of one's own drum” Positive or Negative

In the view of the dictionary definition, the idiom "March to the beat of one's own drum, is more or less something negative which has a connotation of being inattentive, inconsiderate or reckless and ...
2
votes
1answer
216 views

“Go Back to square one” VS “Go back to the drawing board”

I am going to say: In spite of all my efforts, I couldn't pass the final exam and I have to attend all these sessions from the beginning again and start everything from the outset! The same old ...
2
votes
2answers
11k views

What does the phrase “The horse has left the barn” mean?

What does the phrase "The horse has left the barn" mean? I'm asking this question because I was watching the live testimony of Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire before a ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Why are the poor duck and the goose targetted in a derogatory sense In English?

He is a lame duck Becoming a doctor is a wild goose chase. you bloody goose He was out for a duck or golden duck. These are some of the terms associated with duck and geese ...
1
vote
0answers
15 views

Difference between Metonymy and Synecdoche

"One thousand hands made the pyramids of Egypt." How is the word 'hands' used in the sentence? Is it metonymy or synecdoche?
6
votes
2answers
6k views

What does “boys rule, girls drool” mean?

What does "Boys rule, girls drool," mean? I googled it but did not get a straightforward answer. It is a dialogue of Dumb And Dumber (2014) film.
0
votes
1answer
151 views

Meaning of “Reverse my Polarity”

In Talking Tom and Friends, Season 1 Episode 5, "Magnetic Ben", when Ben became a magnet and got stuck to the garage door, he said to Angela: "I need you to reverse my polarity!" Immediately, Angela ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Persistent much? (What does it mean)

Someone had written “Persistent much, huh? Well, then let’s start with my family background.” What does “Persistent much” mean? I looked it up, but I couldn’t find it’s meaning.........
1
vote
1answer
235 views

Can “watermelon” and “brain” be used to refer to one's head metaphorically?

There's a joke, written in my native language, where a blind man in a grocery store starts tapping (or patting) on a child's head, asking about the price of this watermelon, thinking it is an actual ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Did Percy use an omission after “fed”?

The poem is called Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley I met a traveller from an antique land, Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

What is the meaning of brush in this sentence

I came across a sentence while reading which was: Not a trace of Wu Daozi's brush was left - and the artist was never seen again in this world. I don't think it here means an act or instance of ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

What does “moanest loud” mean?

A Dirge Rough wind, that moanest loud Grief too sad for song; Wild wind, when sullen cloud Knells all the night long; Sad storm whose tears are vain, Bare woods, whose branches strain, ...
1
vote
2answers
319 views

What is the literary device used here?

I remember my teacher talking about literary devices, I have a sentence below. What literary device is use here? To bring peace, you must bring war.
2
votes
3answers
33 views

were anchored from?

I'm translating an English article to Persian (my mother tongue). I didn't understand the meaning of this phrase or anything!: "The employee relations aspect of sustainable HRM reflects an ...
0
votes
3answers
122 views

Is this phrase a dramatic effect? [closed]

What does the highlighted expression mean, is it a dramatic effect? SIGHTS During: a car in one’s lane or a barrier approaching, the frightened faces of the people in the oncoming vehicle right ...
0
votes
1answer
343 views

What does 'cogs' mean in this context?

He stopped there to enjoy the effect of these words. He could almost see the cogs working under Uncle Vernon's thick, dark, neatly parted hair. If he tried to stop Harry writing to Sirius, Sirius ...
3
votes
2answers
169 views

under cover of pinkness?

What does "pinkness" mean in the following? Something significant happened under cover of pinkness while we were busy agonising over Scotland and Ed Miliband's dodgy memory. The Financial Times ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

What does this figurative usage of “swampy” mean?

Not to pooh-pooh the Doobs and their smooth, aged take on swampy, countrified soul, but this show belongs to Steely Dan. (source) I have checked several dictionaries but haven't found one listing a ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

What does “tripwire” mean as a verb?

Half Nelson offers an opportunity to marvel, once again, at the dazzling talent of Ryan Gosling for playing young men as believable as they are psychologically trip-wired. (source) Though familiar ...
1
vote
3answers
193 views

what is the meaning of communion in the paragraph?

“Sometimes a meal is just a meal, and eating with others is simply eating with others. More often than not, though, it’s not. Once or twice a semester at least, I will stop discussion of the story or ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Metaphor vs Analogy

Metaphor: A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

none has come up with

I want to know the meaning of the bold portion, please. Also the meaning of the "come up with" and what is subject for the bold portion. She has seen six doctors so far but none has come up with ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

Figure of Speech - Comparing Singular with Plural, and Vice Versa

Can I compare nouns with contrasting numbers. Assume I'm in a furniture shop: These cabinets are like the guy from yesterday. Or should I always tie the numbers? So I should just pick one cabinet ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Based on the context of the story, could this sentence be literal or figurative?

A story named The Centipede, written by Rony V. Diaz is used as the basis for some English lessons. You can read and analyze the story here at this link. There is also a summary and review here. For ...
0
votes
2answers
771 views

Is the expression “sick to hell” too strong? [closed]

For example, can I use it while I'm talking to a kid or could it sound vulgar? So when do you exactly use it?
4
votes
1answer
8k views

“figurative” vs “metaphorical”

What is the difference between two these terms? Are they interchangeably used? Because when I sometimes look at the dictionary, I see this term, figurative, attached to some words which can be used ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

“The best outcome for Spain…” Is there any ambiguity as to the meaning of this phrase?

Consider this sentence: "The best outcome for Spain would be to permit the referendum, and for Catalan voters to reject independence" (Source, In the last paragraph) Would this mean that the best ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Hot embers” and “cold ice”. Is this a figure of speech?

I've often come across phrases such as "hot embers" and "cold ice" (I'd be hard pressed to cite sources...I don't remember any). I found the adjectives "hot" and "cold" used with "embers" and "ice" ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I understand a sentence without subject and verb in novels?

She was meant to stay indoors but everything looked varnished and bright after the rain, so she put her coat on and went outside, then came back in and slung the camera over her shoulder. Through ...