Similes and Metaphors

A form of expression using like or as, in which one thing is compared to another which it only resembles in one or a small number of ways.

Her hair was like silk.
She sings like an angel.
He runs like a gazelle.
This meat is as dry as a bone.

A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison.

He’s a tiger when he’s angry.
His brother is an Einstein.
Your room is a pigpen.
She is a walking dictionary.

According to the internet, English teachers from across the country can submit amusing similes and metaphors found in high school essays for an annual competition. We don’t know that such a competition really exists, but these samples, even if awful, are still creative.

1. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

2. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

3. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

4. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

5. 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.

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

7. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

8. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

9. Shots rang out, as shots are known to do.

10. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 11:00 pm

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6 Comments on Similes and Metaphors

6 responses to “Similes and Metaphors”

  1. B. Koobram says:

    Number 8 is clever, especially given the set up. The writer may have unintentionally described the result of Alzheimer’s disease.

    • That’s an interesting slant on it that had not occurred to us, and, as you mention, it was unlikely the person who wrote No. 8 intended it in that way. The tragedy of Alzheimer’s, or dementia in general, encompasses so much more than a mind closed and set in its ways.

  2. Sandra M. says:

    Today you made me laugh! Excellent newsletter.

  3. John C. says:

    Thank you. That was very amusing. I have not smiled so much for a long time. In fact, my smile was so wide that, had I not had ears, my smile would have stretched right around my head and would have met on the top of my scalp!

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