Metonymy



Metonymy :



Metonymy or the substitution of the thing named for the thing meant. The prefix META means substitution.

The sign for the thing signified :

1. He succeeded to the crown = the monarchy.

2. He is too fond of red-tape = official routine.

3. Show deference to the chair = the chairman's ruling.

4. Promoted to the bench = the office of judge).

5. From the cradle to the grave = from childhood to death.

6. Leather (= shoe-making) pays better than learning.

7. Grey hairs (= old age or old men) should be respected.

8. The crown would not yield to the mitre. (= The king would not yield to the bishop).

9. How shall we attract men to the colours (= the army).

10. Sceptre and crown (= kings and emperors) Must tumble down. (Shirley)


The instrument for the agent :

1. He is a good hand at composition.

2. Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice = Pay heed to what every man says, but say little yourself.

3. The pen is mightier than the sword - Those who us the pen have more influence than those who use the sword.


The container for the thing contained :

1. He drank the cup = the contents of the cup.

2. He is too fond of the bottle = the liquor contained the bottle.

3. The conquerors smote the city = the inhabitants of the city.

4. The gallery (= spectators in the gallery) applaude loudly.


An effect for a cause, or a cause for an effect :

1. I am not fond of Euclid (=geometry).

2. I have never read Homer = the works of Homer.

3. for a beaker full of the warm south! (Keats)

(Here wine is indicated by the warm south - that is the warm sun of the south which ripens the grape from which the wine is produced).



Metonymy :



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