to describe something by transferring attributes from a source thing to a described thing; from the Greek metapherein, meaning to 'carry over'
the dogs of war
a tower of strength
all the world's a stage
night's candles are burnt out
if music be the food of love, play on
a heart of gold
it's a slippery slope
a lame duck president
it costs an arm and a leg
the elephant in the room
Any adversary who is unscrupulous enough to give the least charitable reading to an unhedged statement will find an opening to attack the writer in a thicket of hedged ones anyway.
The schoolmaster is the person who takes the children off the parents' hands for a consideration. That is to say, he establishes a child prison, engages a number of employee schoolmasters as turnkeys, and covers up the essential cruelty and unnaturalness of the situation by torturing the children if they do not learn, and calling this process, which is within the capacity of any fool or blackguard, by the sacred name of Teaching.
[Metaphor fulfills] the supremely difficult task of providing a name for everything.
It is precisely through metaphor that our perspectives, or analogical extensions, are made - a world without metaphor would be a world without purpose.
It's a delicious beer.
I like listening to your voice.
He has trained extensively for the race.
She's been causing me great difficulties at work.
The integrity of our conduct has been questioned.
It's the king of beers.
Your voice is pure music.
He's at the peak of physical fitness.
She's been a throbbing pain in my neck.
They're attacking the honour of our institution.
The heart of Pongo Twistleton had always been an open door with 'Welcome' clearly inscribed on the mat, and you never knew what would walk in next.
The lunches of some fifty-seven years had caused his chest to slip down into the mezzanine floor.
"Five score years ago a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity."
"In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men – yes, black men as well as white men – would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check – a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds.'
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check – a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time."
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
Up scrambles the car, on all its four legs, like a black beetle straddling past the schoolhouse and the store down below, up the bare rock and over the changeless boulders, with a surge and a sickening lurch to the skybrim, where stands the foolish church.
Helen Sword calls nominalizations zombie nouns because they lumber across the scene without a conscious agent directing their motion. They can turn prose into a night of the living dead.
Stylish academic writers are craftspeople who regard their texts as intricate, labour-intensive structures that must be carefully planned and meticulously built, from the pouring of the foundation and the sourcing of the materials to the final polishing of the banisters – not to mention those rare but wrenching occasions when the wrecking ball must be called in.
(Churchill combines the position metaphor with double-meanings.)
Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
a loose canon
a fly on the wall
a game changer
under the weather
over the top
blue sky thinking
thinking out of the box
moving up in the world
to broaden my horizons
Draw a line in the sand.
Start with a clean sheet.
The U.S. is a melting pot.
carry the ball
out of the ballpark
in a league of their own
three strikes and you're out
take a rain check
cover all the bases
getting to first base
a big hit
a big hitter
neck and neck
right off the bat
level playing field
a low blow
saved by the bell
the gloves are off
down but not out
step up to the plate
let down your guard
For a CEO coming in to a listed business, the first hundred days is actually quite a short period in the corporate cycle in which they'll be keeping their head down, they'll be dealing with those people who perhaps wanted the job and didn't get it and making sure that they've kept them on board and they won't necessarily be going out to the public until the end of that period to set out their stall.
The president will put the ship of state safely on its feet.
(Ships have no 'feet.')
Does your life have to be on the rocks before you will turn over a new leaf?
The president will steer the ship of state safely into its home port.
(Ships do berth in ports.)
Why not close this chapter of your life and begin a new one?
Love is friendship, set on fire.
True friends stab you in the front.
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.
If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.