Top 20 Slang For Metaphor – Meaning & Usage

Metaphors are the spice of language, adding depth and color to our everyday conversations. But have you ever wondered what slang terms people use to refer to metaphors in a more casual setting? Look no further! Our team has put together a list of the trendiest and most creative slang for metaphor that will have you impressing your friends with your linguistic flair in no time. So, buckle up and get ready to explore the world of metaphorical expressions like never before!

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1. Imaginative analogy

This term refers to a comparison between two things that are not usually seen as similar. It is a way to create a vivid and imaginative image in order to convey a deeper meaning or understanding.

  • For example, “Her laughter was like a symphony of joy.”
  • In a poem, a writer might use an imaginative analogy like, “Her eyes were pools of moonlight.”
  • A novelist might describe a character’s pain as, “His heart was a shattered mirror, reflecting nothing but fragments of sorrow.”

2. Literary device

This term encompasses various techniques used in literature to create meaning or enhance the reader’s experience. It includes techniques such as metaphor, simile, personification, and symbolism.

  • For instance, a writer might use a literary device like personification to give human qualities to an inanimate object, saying, “The wind whispered secrets in my ear.”
  • In a poem, a writer might use a literary device like alliteration, repeating the same sound at the beginning of multiple words, such as “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.”
  • In a novel, a writer might use a literary device like foreshadowing to hint at future events, creating suspense and anticipation.

3. Rhetorical device

This term refers to techniques used in language to persuade or influence an audience. It includes techniques such as repetition, rhetorical questions, and parallelism.

  • For example, a speaker might use a rhetorical device like repetition to emphasize a point, saying, “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets.”
  • In a persuasive essay, a writer might use a rhetorical device like a rhetorical question to engage the reader, asking, “Isn’t it time we took a stand against injustice?”
  • A politician might use a rhetorical device like parallelism to create a memorable slogan, saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

4. Descriptive trope

This term refers to a recurring pattern or theme in literature or other forms of artistic expression. It often involves the use of figurative language to convey a specific meaning or idea.

  • For instance, the trope of “love as a battlefield” is a common theme in poetry and songs, using metaphorical language to describe the complexities and challenges of romantic relationships.
  • In a novel, a writer might use the trope of “the hero’s journey” to structure the narrative, following the protagonist’s transformation and growth.
  • A filmmaker might use the trope of “the reluctant hero” to create a relatable and compelling character,“the reluctant hero” to create a relatable and compelling character, who is initially hesitant to take on a heroic role.
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5. Symbolic representation

This term refers to the use of symbols to represent abstract ideas or concepts. Symbols can be objects, actions, or images that carry deeper meaning beyond their literal interpretation.

  • For example, a white dove is often used as a symbolic representation of peace.
  • In literature, a red rose might symbolize love or passion.
  • In a painting, a broken chain might symbolize freedom.

6. Rhetorical metaphor

A rhetorical metaphor is a figure of speech that creates a comparison between two unrelated things for the purpose of persuasion or making a point. It is often used in speeches, essays, or other forms of persuasive writing.

  • For example, a politician might say, “We need to break down the walls that divide us” to convey the idea of unity and cooperation.
  • In a debate, a debater might use a rhetorical metaphor like, “His argument is just a house of cards” to suggest that the argument is weak and easily dismantled.
  • A writer might use a rhetorical metaphor like, “Her words were a dagger to his heart” to convey the emotional impact of someone’s words.

7. Descriptive allegory

A descriptive allegory is a story or narrative that uses symbolic characters, objects, or events to convey a deeper meaning or moral lesson. It is often used to illustrate abstract concepts or to critique societal issues.

  • For instance, “Animal Farm” by George Orwell is a descriptive allegory that uses farm animals to represent different political ideologies and social classes.
  • In a children’s book, a descriptive allegory might be used to teach a moral lesson, such as the story of “The Tortoise and the Hare” which teaches the value of perseverance.
  • A writer might use a descriptive allegory to comment on societal issues, such as in “The Lord of the Flies” by William Golding which explores the inherent evil in human nature.

8. Symbolic language

Symbolic language refers to the use of symbols, such as images, objects, or words, to represent abstract ideas or concepts. It is often used in literature, art, and other forms of creative expression.

  • For example, a writer might use a red rose as a symbol of love or passion in a poem.
  • In a painting, an artist might use a dove to symbolize peace or a skull to symbolize death.
  • A songwriter might use symbolic language in lyrics to convey deeper emotions or meanings, such as using the image of a broken mirror to represent a fractured sense of self.

9. Figurative expression

A figurative expression is a phrase or expression that uses words in a non-literal way to convey a deeper meaning. It is often used to add emphasis, create vivid imagery, or convey abstract concepts.

  • For instance, the expression “break a leg” is a figurative expression that means “good luck” in the context of a performance.
  • In a poem, a poet might use figurative expressions like “the sun smiled upon the earth” to create a vivid image of a beautiful day.
  • A writer might use figurative expressions to convey abstract concepts, such as “time flies” to suggest that time passes quickly.
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10. Poetic symbolism

Poetic symbolism refers to the use of symbols in poetry to convey deeper meanings or emotions. It is a technique often used by poets to evoke imagery, create mood, or explore abstract concepts.

  • For example, in the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, the two diverging roads symbolize the choices and decisions we make in life.
  • A poet might use the image of a rose to symbolize love or beauty in a poem.
  • Poetic symbolism can also be used to explore abstract concepts, such as using the image of a broken mirror to symbolize a shattered sense of self.

11. Imaginative comparison

This refers to a comparison between two things that are not typically similar, in order to create a vivid and imaginative image. It is a way of expressing a concept or idea in a unique and memorable way.

  • For example, “Her laughter was like a chorus of birds.”
  • A writer might use an imaginative comparison to describe a beautiful sunset as “the sky on fire.”
  • In a poem, one might say, “His love was a raging storm, tearing through my heart.”

12. Literary symbolism

This refers to the use of symbols in literature to represent abstract ideas or concepts. It is a way of conveying deeper meanings and adding layers of interpretation to a story or poem.

  • For instance, in “The Great Gatsby,” the green light symbolizes the American Dream.
  • A reader might analyze the use of a rose as a symbol of love in a poem.
  • In a novel, an author might use a broken mirror as a symbol of shattered dreams.

13. Rhetorical analogy

This refers to a comparison used in rhetoric to make a persuasive argument or convey a complex idea. It is a way of explaining a concept by drawing parallels to something more familiar or relatable.

  • For example, “Just as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, we too can undergo a transformation.”
  • A politician might use a rhetorical analogy to explain a complex policy issue to the public.
  • In a speech, a speaker might say, “Life is like a rollercoaster, with its ups and downs.”

14. Descriptive metaphor

This refers to a metaphor used to create a vivid and descriptive image. It is a way of using language to paint a picture in the reader’s mind and evoke strong emotions or sensory experiences.

  • For instance, “Her eyes were sparkling diamonds.”
  • A writer might use a descriptive metaphor to describe a storm as “a raging beast.”
  • In a poem, one might say, “His words were daggers, piercing my heart.”

15. Symbolic expression

This refers to the use of symbolic language to express abstract ideas or emotions. It is a way of using words or phrases that have deeper meanings beyond their literal interpretation.

  • For example, a red rose might symbolize love or passion.
  • An artist might use symbolic expression in a painting to convey a sense of melancholy.
  • In a song, a lyricist might use symbolic expression to evoke a feeling of nostalgia.

16. Literary Trope

A literary trope refers to a common or recurring theme or motif in literature. It is a figurative device used by authors to convey a specific meaning or create a certain effect in their writing.

  • For example, the “damsel in distress” is a common literary trope used in many fairy tales.
  • In a discussion about the use of symbolism in a novel, someone might say, “The author employs the ‘journey’ trope to represent the protagonist’s personal growth.”
  • A literature professor might explain, “The ‘unreliable narrator’ is a popular trope often used to create suspense and intrigue in a story.”

17. Allegorical Representation

An allegorical representation is a form of metaphorical expression where an idea or concept is portrayed through symbolic characters, events, or objects. It is often used to convey deeper meanings or moral lessons.

  • For instance, in George Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm,” the animals represent different political ideologies and the farm itself is an allegorical representation of a society.
  • In a discussion about a painting, someone might say, “The artist uses an allegorical representation of love through the use of doves and roses.”
  • A literature critic might analyze, “The allegorical representation of good and evil is a recurring theme in many classic works of literature.”

18. Creative Symbolism

Creative symbolism refers to the imaginative and innovative use of symbols to represent ideas or concepts. It involves using symbols in a unique or unconventional way to convey a specific meaning or evoke certain emotions.

  • For example, in a poem, a writer might use the symbol of a broken mirror to represent shattered dreams.
  • In a discussion about a film, someone might comment, “The director’s use of creative symbolism adds depth and layers of meaning to the story.”
  • A visual artist might explain, “I like to experiment with creative symbolism in my paintings to challenge traditional interpretations.”

19. Expressive Metaphor

An expressive metaphor is a powerful and impactful comparison between two unrelated things. It is often used to create vivid imagery and evoke strong emotions in the reader or listener.

  • For instance, in Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech, he declares, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed.” Here, the metaphor of “rising up” represents progress and change.
  • In a song lyric, an artist might sing, “Her laughter is a contagious wildfire,” using an expressive metaphor to describe someone’s infectious joy.
  • A poet might write, “Her eyes were oceans of sorrow,” using an expressive metaphor to convey deep sadness.
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20. Artistic Allegory

Artistic allegory refers to the use of symbolic representation in art to convey deeper meanings or messages. It involves using visual elements, such as characters, objects, or settings, to represent abstract ideas or concepts.

  • For example, in Sandro Botticelli’s painting “The Birth of Venus,” the figure of Venus emerging from the sea is an artistic allegory of beauty and love.
  • In a discussion about a sculpture, someone might say, “The artist created an artistic allegory of freedom through the use of a soaring bird.”
  • An art critic might analyze, “The use of artistic allegory in this painting invites viewers to interpret and reflect upon its hidden meanings.”