20 Metonymy Examples That Will Sweep You Off Your Feet

On the lookout for some unbelievable metonymy examples to jazz up your writing?

Although metonymy is throughout us, it may be surprisingly tough to provide you with nice examples of it.

That’s primarily as a result of it’s a phrase and idea that many individuals are unfamiliar with, together with English majors.

Now, if metonymy has you stumped, you’ve come to the proper place.

This information gives you a crash course in metonymy and spotlight 20 charming examples of metonymy from on a regular basis life, politics, popular culture, and extra.

Able to get began?


Then let’s kick issues off with a fast definition!

What’s Metonymy?

Metonymy includes utilizing one phrase as a stand-in for a associated phrase or idea.

Put it one other means, it’s whenever you substitute a phrase or phrase with one other phrase or phrase that’s related to it.

Some on a regular basis examples of metonymy embrace calling your automobile your “experience” or declaring that lobster mac and cheese is your favourite “dish”.

What’s the Distinction Between Metonymy, Synecdoche, Metalepsis, and Metaphor?

Metonymy is much like — and but distinctive from — associated literary gadgets like synecdoche, metaphor, and metalepsis.


Let’s a fast take a look at every of those phrases:

Synecdoche vs Metonymy

Synecdoche is a type of metonymy the place you are taking a part of an object and use it to consult with the entire. So synecdoche is referring to your automobile as your “wheels” since they’re a single a part of your automobile, whereas “experience” is metonymy as a result of it’s a associated phrase that replaces the time period automobile.

Metalepsis vs Metonymy

Subsequent, we now have metalepsis, a sort of metonymy the place a literal phrase is changed with a figurative one. For instance, think about the time period “lead foot,” the place two literal objects are introduced collectively to create a brand new that means — an individual who’s keen on driving with a heavy foot on the gasoline pedal.

Metaphor vs Metonymy

Lastly, we now have metaphor, which compares the qualities of two unrelated issues. So saying your baby is the “apple of my eye,” describing your self as a “night time owl,” or referring to the 12 months 2020 as a “dumpster fireplace,” are all examples of metaphor.

20 Metonymy Examples

Examples of Metonymy in On a regular basis Language

Although the time period metonymy may sound fancy, most of us recurrently use metonymy (and different varieties of figurative language) in on a regular basis speech.

There’s an excellent probability you’ve already used it dozens of occasions at the moment with out even realizing it!

Don’t consider me? Nicely, listed below are just a few widespread examples of metonymy in motion:

  • I’m a Silicon Valley man. I simply assume individuals from Silicon Valley can do something.Elon Musk

  • A lot of the profitable individuals in Hollywood are failures as human beings.Marlon Brando

  • The media, like the rest, could be purchased. Every little thing, it appears, has its worth. Even the free press.Lance Morcan

  • The coast is an edgy place. Residing on the coast presents sure stark realities and a wild, uncommon magnificence.Carl Safina

  • I believe authors can get into quite a lot of hassle viewing the subject material as their turf.Laura Hillenbrand

  • Examples of Metonymy in Songs

    Songwriters have lengthy acknowledged the worth of metonymy, and it’s typically utilized in in style songs.

    As these examples present, metonymy is a robust device for conveying deep feelings, reminiscent of expressing a eager for tolerance and concord, a want to expertise real love, and staying with a tough individual out of affection.

  • Ebony and ivory
    Stay collectively in good concord
    Aspect by facet on my piano keyboard
    Oh lord, why don’t we?Paul McCartney and Stevie Surprise

  • Stones would play inside her head.
    And the place she slept, they made her mattress.
    And she or he would ache for love and get
    However stones.Neil Diamond

  • “What would I do with out your sensible mouth?
    Drawing me in, and also you kicking me out
    ‘Trigger all of me
    Loves all of you.John Legend

  • Examples of Metonymy in Politics

    female politician giving a speech

    Even politicians have a robust appreciation for metonymy, in addition to colourful rhetoric, energy phrases, and figurative language.

    However metonymy isn’t confined to political speeches. Individuals additionally use it when referring to the U.S. authorities as Washington or the White Home, or the British monarchy because the Crown.

  • When he entered the Oval Workplace — by destiny, not by design — Citizen Ford knew that he was not good, simply as he knew he was not good when he left. However what president ever was?Tom Brokaw

  • You need a pal in Washington? Get a canine.Harry S. Truman

  • Extra has been screwed up on the battlefield and misunderstood within the Pentagon due to a lack of information of the English language than the rest.John W. Vessy, Jr.

  • God has given such courageous troopers to this Crown that, if they don’t frighten our neighbors, not less than they forestall us from being frightened by them.Queen Elizabeth I

  • Examples of Metonymy in Literature

    Provided that metonymy is a literary machine, you gained’t be stunned that many works of literature liberally use it.

    You can discover numerous examples of metonymy in well-known literary works, together with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and American classics like Moby Dick and Huckleberry Finn.

    As you’ll see, Shakespeare, together with his present for coining new phrases, provides us many ingenious examples of metonymy.

  • Mates, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

  • To die, to sleep — No extra — and by a sleep to say we finish the heartache and the thousand pure shocks that flesh is inheritor to — ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.William Shakespeare, Hamlet

  • You should know that in a settled and civilized ocean like our Atlantic, for instance, some skippers assume little of pumping their complete means throughout it; although of a nonetheless, sleepy night time, ought to the officer of the deck occur to neglect his obligation in that respect, the chance could be that he and his shipmates would by no means once more bear in mind it, on account of all palms gently subsiding to the underside.Herman Melville, Moby Dick

  • I went and informed the Widow about it, and he or she mentioned the factor a physique may get by praying for it was ‘religious presents’.Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  • I do know a person that had this trick of melancholy offered a goodly manor for a track.William Shakespeare, All’s Nicely That Ends Nicely

  • Different Well-known Examples of Metonymy

    We’ve checked out a number of metonymy examples up to now, and so they’ve taken us from Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I to Elon Musk and John Legend.

    In fact, metonymy isn’t restricted to politics, literature, and music, so let’s check out just a few different well-known examples:

  • There are a lot of examples of metonymy within the titles of movies and TV exhibits, together with “Home of Playing cards,” “Golden Ladies,” and “Rags to Riches,” to call just a few.
  • And loads of well-known quotes and sayings additionally make good use of metonymy.

    Contemplate this immortal phrase from Edward Bulwer-Lytton:

  • “The pen is mightier than the sword.”
  • And final however not least, we will’t neglect that well-known wordsmith (and Prime Minister) Winston Churchill, who gave us this highly effective reminder to maintain going even within the worst of occasions:

  • “If you happen to’re going via hell, maintain going.”
  • Why Use Metonymy?

    Certain, metonymy is a reasonably neat means to make use of language, however do you really want it to write down nicely?

    Not essentially, however there are nonetheless just a few good the explanation why writers may use it.

    For one factor, it’s an unbelievable alternative to train creativity. As writers, we’re naturally drawn to new methods of utilizing language, and metonymy supplies us with an entire new dimension of artistic expression.

    Metonymy additionally permits you to infuse deeper that means into seemingly peculiar phrases, reworking a easy phrase like “pen” right into a hanging illustration of the ability of the written phrase.

    Metonymy can even show you how to be extra concise in your writing, facilitating a discount in filler phrases. You see, metonymic phrases are sometimes quick and to the purpose, making your sentences extra highly effective and profound.

    TLDR; metonymy provides extra snap and crackle to your writing, making it extra significant and memorable to readers.

    Able to Create Your Personal Superb Metonymy Examples?

    Metonymy may sound difficult, but it surely’s really very accessible and one thing that most individuals use of their on a regular basis speech.

    After studying this put up, it is best to have a transparent understanding of what metonymy is and the way it’s used.

    Now it’s time to attract in your newfound information and begin utilizing metonymy in your writing.

    So I problem you to offer metonymy a shot and use it two or 3 times in your subsequent writing undertaking.

    Stick with it, and also you’ll be a grasp of metonymy earlier than you already know it.


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