Questions tagged [metaphors]

A *metaphor* is a figure of speech which compares something with another, generally unrelated thing by virtue of certain shared characteristics: *Shall I Compare Thee to a summer’s Day*.

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Having doubt in a couple of metaphorical statements

I am having slight doubt with a couple of metaphorical statements. A slight assistance will be most welcome. 1."The insatiable desire to breakout becomes the carnival of the oppressed, an iconic ...
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What is the correct interpretation of the bold part? [closed]

Does the bold part here mean "so you are in fact not know about the ballerinas digging up the locked cabinet in the dark, even though you know about being in the darkness/ being in the night”? ...
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I want to understand who “the graphite” refers to [closed]

Harvard’s Nicholas Christakis says that when you take a bird’s eye view of humans through the prism of social networks, the picture of both the individual and the group changes. He draws the analogy ...
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Is “break X at the seams” a metaphor, or something else?

The Mariana crow actually uses its bill to peck and break the shell at the seams to extract the vulnerable crab. https://corvidresearch.blog/tag/extinct-crow/ I was told it wasn't an idiom, so I am ...
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Regarding a metaphor “Old Nick is not just lurking in the small print,”

Reading this article, there is a saying, Andrew Stuttaford Sat, May 1, 2021, 11:29 PM The devil is in the details, and while, when it comes to the Biden tax plan, Old Nick is not just lurking in the ...
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What does “lifeline” mean in this context?

I know, that "lifeline" is: a thing on which someone or something depends or which provides a means of escape from a difficult situation. a rope or line used for life-saving, typically one ...
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What does “…asking for the sun, the moon and stars” mean?

I watched a video and encountered an unfamiliar idiom. 0:50 It's not like we're asking for the sun, the moon and stars. This is a comment made by union worker who is negotiation with his employer. I ...
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“[NOUN] in veins” eg. “MUSICIAN in veins” meaning

Phrase: "Musician in veins" Is it correct? Can it be misinterpreted? Is it easily understandable for english speaking person? How do YOU understand it?
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The shadows ahead

"High above this quagmire of violence rise the sunny plateaus of Eden, casting their shadows before." The wording is meant deliberately ambiguous. It opens a paragraph about a group of ...
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Usage of metaphor indicating repetitious occurence of bad things

I intend to use the metaphor tempest-toosed upon life's billows in the sentence below. Would the usage of the preceding metaphor sound awkward to the english native speaker? Or is there any other ...
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What kind of “effect” is it when something has ended but temporarily affects still?

Consider a situation where a circumstance causes an effect. Once the circumstance changes or vanishes, the effect is expected to cease. In certain cases, the observable effect continues to transpire, ...
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What does “return to the well” mean in these sentences?

Context 1: "I remember pa's hand in mine. Grasping and shaking for what felt like a thousand years...before he finally let go. His spirit released, allowing me brief communion before returning to ...
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Is “sailed into” used as metaphor?

I am using this "glance" app. Every day some special wallpaper shows up on my homescreen. I bumped into this line: On this day: Titanic sailed into cinemas. Is "sailed into" used ...
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What's the phrase for slightly/fully closing one (or both) eye(s) in order to see things in a better light?

I have found various expressions for partially or fully closing one's eye or both but mostly those are used for showing suspicion (scowl), disapproval (scowl), anger (glower), concentration (scowl), ...
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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.
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In History's Unmarked Grave of Discarded Lies

I have been trying to google the meaning of the above mentioned sentence which was spoken by the US President George Bush when he was addressing the joint-congress after 9/11 attack. I'll just ...
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Why is 10th May called an 'autumn day' in South Africa?

In Nelson Mandela's autobiography Long Walk to Freedom, 10th May is referred to as an autumn day. Mandela writes: "On that lovely autumn day (10th May) I was accompanied by my daughter Zenani.&...
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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 ...
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What does “testing the water with another's daughter” in these lyrics mean?

The British band Maccabees has a song called No kind words which has the following lines: Dear friend of mine is testing his body Tempting disaster Testing water with another's daughter The last ...
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White whale metaphor

I’m translating an english book in my native language and here is a metaphor I’ve never heard ; the sentence is : My personal white whale, author Neil gaiman . What does white whale mean here ?
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What on earth could this metaphor imply?

Reading this article (emphasis mine), there are 2 lines, Chinese media have also singled out Matt Pottinger, a deputy national security adviser who delivered a direct appeal to the people of China —...
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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'...
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Idiom using the metaphore of “shouting in the dark” & English equivalent

In Czech, we say something is a "shout in the dark" when you do something without expecting it to fulfill the purpose (usually, it's used when someone is pushing for a change and gets no response). Is ...
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What does “hangs a cloud of thoughts…” mean?

I want to know what this sentence means; particularly the part that says "hangs a cloud of thoughts": About what goes on today hangs a cloud of thoughts concerning similar things undergone in ...
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Why does the lecturer think the Famous Panda is **delicious**?

The lecturer is saying you do face the same problem of missing context in any language like the famous Panda who goes to a restaurant and eats shoots and leaves and they were both ...
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What do “nailer” and “hanger” mean in these lines?

A dialogue from the movie Body of Lies Ferris: When they find him, they are gonna torture him and they are gonna kill him. Ed: You gotta decide which side of the cross you're on. I need ...
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A metaphor which can introduce an experienced/inexperienced person

What do you call a half-baked (not quite experienced) and well-baked (well-experienced) person in English? I'm looking for a metaphorical expression or preferably word, which can explain a person who ...
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Meaning of “So say the knights who say NIH”

So say the knights who say NIH. I don't get the above reference. What does it mean?
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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 ...
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Is “as what…” a short from of “…so +adjective +that…” structure?

In a british movie, a boy is asking an old military man about his sword: -Boy: Is that the sword you used in battles Mr.Poulter. Could I see it? -The man(Mr.Poulter): Very dangerous weapon, my lad. ...
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What's the meaning of “while the bands play” in this sentence?

It's all I can do to sit still while the bands play. I can’t believe Mirror Boy was in the system. I don’t know if he was when he died or not. (The Ghost Files, by Apryl Baker) Who's "thinking" here ...
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what is the meaning of “Plato’s attic”?

This is the context: She seemed to Hartley almost an ethereal presence and he could not imagine for a second that in Plato’s attic of perfect forms there could exist a prototype of phibba that was ...
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Is it correct to use the phrase “it´s about finding the city´s DNA”?

The phrase: It's about finding the city's DNA is used in a CNN promo for its program "Quest´s Worlds of Wonder". I can see what they want to express, but does it make sense in terms of language ...
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What does “smell the glove” mean in this article?

https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2015/03/04/smell-the-glove Smell the Glove. Handshaking may be a chemical as well as a social greeting GRIP firmly, maintain eye contact. ...
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What does “crevasse” mean or refer to in this sentence?

I looked into the dictionary that a "crevasse" usually means 'a very deep crack in the thick ice of a glacier', but which could certainly not fit the context. At first it really confuses me, then I ...
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Metaphor is correct or incorrect

“The crowd is a monster.” Does monster work in the scentence? Monster is singular so I don’t know I’d it work. I’m doing a personal story for myself.
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“Each woven from the fabric of values” What it means?

Culture wears many different hats, each woven from the fabric of values. In the above sentence, "the pharase woven from the fabric of values" means what? What is its gramartical position? Thans in ...
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What does “wet weather in my soul” mean?

A psychologist tells of how his 5-year-old daughter taught him something that made him change: "The notion of a Positive Psychology movement began at a moment in time a few months after I had been ...
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How to comprehend the sentence, “courage is fear walking.”

I saw the sentence on the TED videoed lecture delivered by Ms. David. This is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDQ1Mi5I4rg&feature=youtu.be At 15:35, "What he showed me is that ...
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Why “The pump don't work …” correct here?

"The pump don't work 'Cause the vandals took the handle." -- Bob Dylan I came across this sentence in a book. It looks like the author quoted that sentence written by Bob Dylan -- who might be a ...
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How to understand: “The owls are nothing next to the rumors that are flying around”?

Professor McGonagall shot a sharp look at Dumbledore and said, "The owls are nothing next to the rumors that are flying around. You know what everyone's saying? About why he's disappeared? About what ...
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Usage of “a move” when someone is fired

I quoted the following paragraphs from The Guardian Trump indicated last week that he would fire Sessions after the midterm elections, a move some observers said might presage the firing of deputy ...
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Help to understand “a 'bullseye' on his chest”

Former CIA director John Brennan -- shown here in September 2016 -- says he knows he has a "bullseye" on his chest over his comments on Donald Trump (AFP Photo/MARK WILSON) I saw the sentence from ...
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Help to understand the metaphor: *this letter* --> *something felt like a freight train*

CEO Kevin Meuret told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the hacking was probably committed by an ex-employee. “I’m a father of three daughters, and that young lady getting that [response] is horrible,” ...
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Help to understand: “leaders as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America…”

In a tweet, Barack Obama wrote Today I’m proud to endorse such a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates – leaders as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they’re running ...
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“Canon” for technical subjects

Can you say Despite initial success, method A has not found its way into the canon of cancer treatments. What I mean by "canon" is simply that method A is not one of those that a normal doctor ...
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Validate the voice of this book

What's the meaning of "validate the voice of this book" in the following context? I thank Lisa who reached out to her vast network to help validate the voice of this book.
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What's the meaning of “pull up her(or his) smile”?

Could you please tell me what the meaning of "pull up her(or his) smile" is? Sadie trembled for the entire ride, but she pretended to be enjoying herself, restoring her lipsticked smile every time ...
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What are some words with the connotation of unreality/numbness/dream? [closed]

Our world is only a reflection. I'm looking for a word that could replace reflection here so that it would be still clear it's supposed to indicate numbness/unreality/fiction - that it's meant to ...
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What's the vice versa of “they go low, we go high?”

The expression "vice versa" seems to have been used to express something opposite, but there are a bunch of "opposite" things. My question is when one writes or says When they go low [TL], we go ...