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Figure of Speech – Metonym

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Figure of Speech - Metonym- Metonym is a figurative language to make the language colourful and interesting by giving a linked term for a concept or an object. It is used often in everyday speech and in literature. Some use it even without realising it. The most famous example for metonym is, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’. ‘Pen’ stands for the ‘written word’ and the ‘sword’ stands for ‘violence’. Just as any other literary device metonyms add flavour to the language. As already mentioned we often use it in our everyday life as well. When we say ‘this dish is delicious’, the dish stands for many ingredients and the process of making it. From something as simple as this to ‘Hollywood’ for the film industry is a metonym.

Practise Exercises

Identify the metonym in the following sentences

  1. Both the brothers took to the bottle after the tragedy.
  2. There was not a soul in the house.
  3. It cost us twenty pounds per head.
  4. Would you like a Scotch?
  5. All are afraid of the evil one.
  6. She was a woman of cloth.
  7. Loyalty to the crown was the fashion of the day.
  8. The RashtrapathiBhavan will make the important announcement.
  9. If we don’t get the files ready, we will be answerable to the suits.
  10. She is my beautiful heart.
  11. That dish won the first prize in the competition.
  12. We have sent many petitions. We hope Washington will now respond.
  13. He did not want to leave the big house.
  14. Most youngsters around the world want to be a part of the Silicon Valley.
  15. People are easily influenced but the Hollywood lifestyles.
  16. Please tell me about my younger days. I am all ears.
  17. My uncle is quite the silver fox.
  18. Will you give me a hand to clear this mess?
  19. The top brass will be coming for the function.
  20. The team now needs new blood. So I am taking in youngsters.

Identify the meaning of these Metonyms

  1. Pink Slip
  2. Boots on the ground
  3. Boil the kettle
  4. Red Tape
  5. Mortal
  6. China
  7. Chernobyl
  8. Pearl Harbour
  9. Scotland Yard
  10. Timbuktu