List of metonyms
The following is a list of common metonyms.[n 1] A metonym is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept. For instance, "London", as the capital of the United Kingdom, could be used as a metonym for its government.
|Word or phrase||Original / literal use||Metonymic use|
|bar||The bar in a courtroom that separates judges and lawyers from laypeople.||All the lawyers licensed to practice law in a certain court or jurisdiction.|
|bench||The location in a courtroom where a judge sits when presiding over a court.||All the judges of a court or jurisdiction; members of a judiciary; the presiding officer (judge) in a court.|
|boots on the ground||Footwear worn by soldiers.||Combat troops deployed in a geographic area (as opposed to those awaiting deployment and/or in aircraft or ships offshore).|
|brass||A metal alloy (used for or in the manufacture of e.g. buttons, insignia and (traditionally) a family of musical instruments)||Military officers|
|china||The country China.||Chinese porcelain or other types of ceramic.|
|city hall||A city's chief administrative building.||Local government or, more pejoratively, government in general. Most common use is in the adage "You can't fight city hall."|
|crown / Crown||A type of monarchical headwear.||Monarchy, especially the British monarchy (as "The Crown").|
|dish||An item of crockery.||(The foundation of) a course – usually the main course – of a meal.|
|gun||A firearm.||An assassin, mercenary or soldier (as in "hired gun").|
|mortal||Subject to death.||Human.|
|pink slip||A discharge notice (historically, a slip of paper in an employee's pay envelope).||A layoff or termination of employment.|
|suits||Business attire (plural).||Business executives and lawyers.|
|sweat||Perspiration.||Hard (physical) work.|
|tongue||Oral muscle.||A language or dialect.|
- Since metonymy – the process by which metonyms are formed – is a productive process, new metonyms can always be created. This list cannot include all metonyms, but only some of those that are identified as common.
- Technically, 10 Downing Street is the official residence of the First Lord of the Treasury, not the Prime Minister. However, the two offices have been held by the same person since the early 20th century.
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- Ruhl, Charles (1989). Acts of Arguing: A Rhetorical Model of Argument. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-1-4384-1827-8. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Hogg, Richard M.; van Bergen, Linda (1998). Historical Linguistics 1995: Selected Papers from the 12th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Manchester, August 1995. John Benjamins Publishing. ISBN 978-90-272-3667-8. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Paprotté, Wolf; Dirven, René (1985). The Ubiquity of Metaphor: Metaphor in Language and Thought. John Benjamins Publishing. ISBN 978-90-272-3521-3. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Killingsworth, M. Jimmie (2005). Appeals in Modern Rhetoric: An Ordinary-language Approach. SIU Press. ISBN 978-0-8093-8826-4. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Panther, Klaus-Uwe; Radden, Günter (1999). Metonymy in Language and Thought. John Benjamins Publishing. ISBN 978-90-272-2356-2. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
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- Berstler, Brenda (2007). Home Plate: The Culinary Road Trip of Cooperstown. Savor New York. ISBN 978-0-9796802-0-5. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "Detroit, MI". Forbes. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- Lauren Laverne, "When the high street meets the internet", The Observer, London, 6 October 2013. Retrieved on 3 January 2014.
- Lakoff, George (2008). "Metonymic models". Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-47101-3.
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- "Legacy of a People's Park". Education Portal. Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- Michael Bachelard, Feeling the heat The Age, July 25, 2010
- Christopher H. Johnson; David Warren Sabean; Simon Teuscher; Francesca Trivellato (15 August 2011). Transregional and Transnational Families in Europe and Beyond: Experiences Since the Middle Ages. Berghahn Books. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-85745-184-2.
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