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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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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Is it a metaphor or personification? [closed]

Is a clause "the toys cry" a metaphor or personification? Thank you
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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 ...
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What“s the meaning of ”the raw physicality of"?

The word "raw" confuses me. Could you please tell me what's the semantic relatedness between words "coin" and "raw"? The full text is: Tyler was a softer target: I begged and he gave me a silver ...
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Could anyone help me with the meaning of the words in bold?

Mr.Pneumonia was not what you would call a chivalric old gentleman. A mite of a little woman with blood thinned by California zephyrs was hardly fair game for the red-fisted, short-breathed old duffer....
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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 ...
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What is the meaning of “[to] butterfly <something>”?

What is the meaning of "[to] butterfly <something>"? This quote is from the first post of a thread on an alternate history forum: If Jesus was never born, this would obviously butterfly ...
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What is mom-pkin?

My bae asked me about the meaning of mom-pkin in the book she's reading. I'm stunned and google searching produced but acronyms and chemical stuff. The full sentence is as follows. She still had ...
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get something kick out of somebody meaning

Look guys, for thousands of years, guys like us, have gotten the sh*t kicked out of us. I looked up this in idioms' and slangs' dictionary but they have only mentioned "get a kick out of something" ...
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“Technicolor bread and butter”? — I'm positively confounded

From the comprehension book—Secondary English (Book 4) by Sadler Hayllar Powell: The following piece of writing comes straight from the childhood of Clive James, the author of Unreliable ...
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What does 'straphanger' mean in this dialogue?

In this dialogue, two female agents (two of the most conscientious officers of the team) are having a phone conversation from two different countries. The one who is baking the cake is inviting the ...
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What does “welded” mean in this context?

What does “welded” mean in this context? I hope aged 98 she has both boobs out. Brand new boobs, newly welded nipples pointing upwards like Pekinese dogs sniffing chocolate. Give the world ...
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What does “dying weeks” imply?

The Obama administration had identified a more direct solution. In its dying weeks it filed a case at the WTO, suing China for its aluminium subsidies.  http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-...
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How did you get there? A metaphorical interpretation

I am wondering whether it's natural to say "how did you get there" in the following context: John: You speak excellent English. How did you get there? Mary: I study English five hours a day, seven ...
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What does “step on the brakes” mean in this context?

Based on this page, I know it means STOP but i can't figure out what they would STOP. Raising that target to 3 or even 4 percent as some economists have suggested would shift the outlook of firms ...
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How does the number of eyes represent the number of persons?

I had an exam today (Egyptian GSEC english exam) and in a passage about library it said: The book slipped from his hands and fell on the floor with loud noise, 20 eyes looked at him and his face ...
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What does “freshly squeezed light” mean? [closed]

I guess the expression "freshly squeezed" usually refers to "juice". But what does it mean in this context: "We enter one of Broadmoor's ultrasequestered DSPD wards. My first impression is of an ...
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Usege of as and like

What are the differences between of these words? "As" and "like" Do you think is this sentence right? They are still behaving to me as (or like) child.
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“my mother was my powerhouse” and “father a school of thoughts”

I remember: In a palace of formations, my mother was my powerhouse and father a school of thoughts. Is this style of writing correct? What can be better choice for the same sentence, grammatically?...
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How would people use “cherry-pick”?

I found an example using the word, "cherry-pick": In this era of post-truth politics, it's easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire. Is it a positive term? Is it ...
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What does “Rabbit hole” mean?

I've found this phrase appears more than twice. Ted-ed at 1:15 So, to use matrices, we need to learn how they work. It turns out, you can treat matrices just like regular numbers. You can add them, ...
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The curtain is closing on him

Can I use "The curtain is closing on him" as a metaphor for having the opportunity/chance to do/get something, but something went wrong, so the curtain is closing on him(it's over).
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Meaning of “root project”

When I read this Stack Overflow answer, the following phrase was quoted from the documentation: in the root project 's build.gradle: I do not know meaning of that, and I could not find the meaning....
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Why is a guitar neck called a “neck”?

Is there explanation for why a guitar neck is called a "neck"? I can understand why a guitar body is called a "body" but not the neck.
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rollover — what does this word mean in the following context?

Source: The ABCs of IP Addressing by Gilbert Held (2002) Example: The actual entry in the Sequence Number field is based on the number of bytes in the TCP data field, i.e., because TCP was ...
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“As + adjective ”

1) I found him dead. 2) He painted the car red. 3) He will make them strong. I get confused using adjective in these typs of sentences for being a non native speaker because sometimes some ...
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The syntax of metaphors in English

I tried to translate a line of a Persian poem into English, it is almost like: If you come to visit me, come slowly and softly Lest the delicate porcelain of my loneliness cracks Here, the ...