Language abuse…very mixed metaphors

Posted: March 26, 2019 in Words
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A metaphor is a direct comparison, such as the second line of the poem, The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes: “The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.”  If he’d said “The moon was like a ghostly galleon”, it would have been a simile.

Metaphors are quite useful, but when they get mixed, things get a bit, well, mixed up!  Just take a look at these gems, courtesy of Anguished English.

The sacred cows have come home to roost with a vengeance.  (I hope they have a very sturdy perch and please do NOT stand underneath it!!)

The slowdown  is accelerating.

The Sword of Damocles is hanging over Pandora’s Box.

Let dead dogs sleep.

She was a diva of such immense talent that, after hearing her perform, there was seldom a dry seat in the house.   (I can’t really comment on that one.)

Let’s hope Steve Carleton gets his curve ball straightened out.  (Perhaps Yogi was catching for this one.)

It’s difficult living in a bowl of fish.  (Unless of course you’re a fish.)

That guy’s out to butter his own nest. (Slick!)

I’m sticking my neck out on a limb.  (Ouch!!)

He was a very astute politician with both ears glued to the ground.  (Ouch again!)

The banker’s pockets are bulging with the sweat of the honest working man. (Yuk!)

Richard Lederer (again in Anguished English) points out that even Ian Fleming mixed a cocktail of metaphors at least once (shaken, though, not stirred) when he wrote: “Bond’s knees, the Achilles heel of all skiers, were beginning to ache.”  So if you happen to mangle a metaphor or three (or would that make it a meta-four?), you’re in good company.

Comments
  1. glad the sword found a place and it hangs no longer over me LOL

  2. Su Leslie says:

    Hate those. Urging sweaty pockets 😂😂 These are sooo funny Janet.

  3. Dan Antion says:

    I have made a mistake with metaphors, but hopefully not this badly. These gave me a nice chuckle to start the day – thanks, Janet.

  4. Thanks for the laugh this morning.
    Ω

  5. JT Twissel says:

    I used to work with a group of programmers who loved to mix metaphors. Some I remember are “Don’t count your chickens before they come home to roast” and “we’ll just have to burn that bridge when we come to it.”

  6. anne leueen says:

    I love Anguished English. And we surely know politicians only have their ears on the polls not the ground.

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