Talk:Simile

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Explicit similies[edit]

I found this section helpful, but its first sub-section (implicit) is missing any examples, despite concluding with a colon. It used to contain ' "My dad was a mechanic by trade when he was in the Army," Raymond Thompson said. "When he got the tools out, he was like a surgeon." ' which makes the point nicely but for some reason this was deleted. Can anyone add some suitable soures?

joshCW (talk) 08:27, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

"That Speeding Bullet"[edit]

The first paragraph contains the example, "John was a record-setting runner. That speeding bullet could zip past you without you even knowing he was there." The implication is that "speeding bullet," referencing John, is a metaphor. However, isn't this actually an example of a metonymy?

72.77.98.191 (talk) 11:51pm, 9 May 2001 (UTC)

Snow[edit]

I would contend that "the snow blanketed the earth" was a metaphor, not a simile. BevRowe

Now you mention it, me too! feel free to fix it!cv -- Tarquin 20:14 Feb 15, 2003 (UTC)

"The snow blanketed the earth" is a simile. I put it in the article for a reason, which I stated, that similes do not have to include the word like or as. I just added a bit more making the point more clearly. "The snow blanketed the earth" is a shortened form of "The snow covered the earth like a blanket" and is thus a simile. "The snow was a blanket over the earth" is a metaphor. Similes compare, metaphors equate. Ortolan88 20:28 Feb 15, 2003 (UTC)
I was always taught phrases like that are an implied metaphor. "The snow blanketed the earth" implies the snow is a blanket. Without the words "like" or "as" (etc.), it is not a simile. -BeboGuitar 18:40, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that's a metaphor myself. I'll quote Webster's College Dict. defs.:
  • simile: a figure when one thing is likened to another , dissimilar thing by use of like, as, etc. [i.e. a comparing word]
  • metaphor: a figure of speech containing an implied comparison, in which a word or phrase ordinarily and primarily used of one thing is applied to another [emphasis mine]
The best summary is the way I learned it: A simile says something is like something; a metaphor says something is something.
I hope this definition helps clear things up for future editors of this article. Garnet avi (talk) 23:49, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Could there be a section in the article that defines a simile and what makes it different from a metaphor? -Wiki user 24 May 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.193.177.84 (talk) 11:29, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Like, as, and others[edit]

I've seen simile's defined containing the words than, similar to, resembles, and seems in addition to like and as. Article worthy? -Hench 04:36, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I think it can be argued that "blanketed" means covered and is not a reference to a blanket so "blanketed the earth" isn't a simile, but I don't know. I expressed the uncertainty in my last edit. -Barry- 21:35, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I think that alot of words could be used as a simile but I can't really think of them right now because I have alot going through my mind. Christina

I've taken out references to non-like/as simile words in the opening because I thought it was a tricky subject and unnecessary to try and list every possible comparer there. I used the word "typically" with like and as for a reason, as it's true that they are "typically" the ones used. If anyone comes up with good non-like/as examples of similes (that you're sure are similes), please make a new subsection about them instead of editing the top description. I feel that clears up the article and will be an appropriate was to format it. I didn't add this myself as I can't think of examples for those cases. Please don't change this back, or to something similar, without discussion here. Garnet avi (talk) 01:36, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

I wonder if this would be considered a simile, and if so, acceptable for an example that doesn't use like or as: “Measures on Hyper Base had been taken in a sort of rattling fury—the muscular equivalent of an hysterical shriek.” (Little Lost Robot, Asimov) Isimbot (talk) 03:30, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Link to german Wiki[edit]

I have to add that the link to the german wikipedia is correct. Whereas "A simile is a figure of speech ...", "Gleichnisse sind meist kürzere Texte" (='Gleichnis'es are mostly shorter texts). Therefor I have changed the link to www.wikipedia.org/

Offensive similes[edit]

I just reverted someone's attempt to delete the offensive similes, largely because they lied in their edit summary about their edit. Wikipedia is about as much a hell hole as the internet in general when it comes to content and language, and I'd like to see more editors remove offensive content like the similes that were removed (I added them in the first place, but more moral editors would help prevent other articles that are even worse). School kids learning about similes might find this page, and I wouldn't want my grade schooler being exposed to this stuff and possibly repeating it where it's not appropriate. This sentiment goes against one of the guidelines of Wikipedia, but I won't abide by that guideline in some cases, and I just might show my support for that too-rare Wikipedian who has morals by deleting the offensive similes myself, using a proper edit summary, if someone else doesn't. -Barry- 18:04, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I got rid of "fun as crap" but not because of any morality. I'd found it in amongst the examples from everyday speech. I've never heard it. Crap isn't even fun. Jimp 16:59, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

To tell you the truth. I had to do a project on smilies and when I went and viewed them my brothers and sisters got a good laugh out of them, and so did I. But that doesn't really help. I could imagine a fool using one of them. Please, before you post things like that, think about how many people use this website thinking it as a reliable resource, while many are taking advantage of it and posting these things.- Reader of Wiki~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.57.1.11 (talkcontribs)

As I understand the guidelines on censorship (WP:censor), Wikipedia is not censored in regards to relevant content, such the definitions of curse words, objective descriptions of NC-17 rated acts, and frank discussion of controversial issues. The article for simile has no reason to be offensive other that some troll trying to get their jollies shocking respectable people curious about rhetoric. This is not inappropriate censorship; just the opposite. In conclusion: feel free to remove non-appropriate content from this article, as it has no logical reason to be offensive in any way. Garnet avi (talk) 23:35, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Faster than Lightning[edit]

I just changed the so called simile "faster than lightning" to "as fast as lightning", since that is a bit more popular, and similes use the word "like" or "as". -Freddy

Similes don't have to use the word "like" or "as". Consider "The orb glowed with an intensity equal to the sun's" or "In terms of beauty, she was every bit Cleopatra's match" or "He trumpeted in a style reminiscent of his father". These are, in meaning, equivalent to "The orb glowed as brightly as the sun", "She was as beautiful as Cleopatra", and "He trumpeted like his father", all of which are inarguably similes. Since the idea of a simile is essentially a semantic one, rather than a primarily syntactic one, there are no magic words which are essential for simile. All that's necessary is that some sort of comparison be made/resemblance be stated. If it was really about magic words instead, we might rightfully ask how similes worked in non-English languages (there's no reason a language needs to have words corresponding precisely to "as" or "like"), but I don't suppose there's anyone who thinks similes are particularly linked to some human languages and not others. -Chinju 22:25, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I have to argue here (play devil's advocate a bit). Those are similes. The orb's brightness is equal to the sun. That's a quantity, not a figures of speech. Like "He was as tall as his brother", a definitive, quantifiable (i.e. measurable) trait, vs. "He was tall like a giraffe.", a definite figure of speech expressing a general trait by a comparison. Then, I think the last two are not dissimilar enough to be similes. A persons beauty compared to another's are definitely similar things, and a person and their father's skills are definitely alike (I'm also thinking glowing orbs are easily comparable to suns). How different do the two things have to be to qualify as a simile? I don't know, but I don't think two people count. Also, I'm not sure about "faster than lightning" at all. I'm iffy enough on that that I wouldn't use it as an example. Again, I'm arguing devil's advocate-esque here. I'm not 100% certain I'm right, but it needs to be argued for optimal accuracy. Garnet avi (talk) 01:30, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Metaphors vs. similes[edit]

A simile is a type of metaphor. This should be stated explicitly in the article, and should be noted by those editing it. Check the page on 'metaphor' - it mentions that similes are a type of metaphor. Too many people have been watching Ed Byrne's routine on Alanis Morrisette. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.158.218.83 (talk) 03:56, 29 July 2011 (UTC)


Yes, perhaps similes don't HAVE to have 'like' or 'as' in them, BUT it does make them more understandable. and then it brings confusion ... IF a simile does not have like or as in it, then isn't it considered a metaphor? what ACTUALLY defines a simile? in this case, what defines a metaphor? Can similes BE metaphors? Thanks , leila

A simile involves comparison of two different objects; you describe one thing by noting its resemblance to another (as in "He was as fast as lightning" or "In terms of beauty, she was every bit Cleopatra's match"). A metaphor involves conflation of two different objects; you describe one thing as though it were actually another (as in "All the world's a stage" or "She swallowed the bitter pill of defeat"). Basically, similes involve comparison and metaphors involve identity. (Some people use "metaphor" in a more general sense, to cover all symbolism, in which case simile could be seen as one particular type of metaphor. The distinction I outlined above is, of course, not for this general sense of "metaphor", but, rather, for the more restricted sense in which the word is more commonly deployed). -Chinju 21:32, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Similes AREN'T metaphors, and certainly not all of them, though they are easily confused and their differences are/ can be small and (seemingly) insignificant. 01:08, 15 November 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A00:C440:20:1116:80AF:2AC6:88C2:69C3 (talk)

Removal of lists of examples[edit]

Both lists, similes from songs and similes in general, should be deleted.

  • There are no criteria for any given simile's inclusion in the list. This borders on original research, with no references to cite.
  • Having such a long list does not help explain what a simile is; a few examples will suffice very well.

Booya Bazooka 04:36, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with this. I would actually go as far as to say that a lot of those are very likely in that category of original research. One item to note is that the last one in the Without 'like' or 'as' section doesn't even seem in the slightest to be a simile...it seems to me more of a metaphor because of it saying that the person will become something, something which is an obvious metaphor when comparing Merriam Webster's definitions for simile and metaphor. Another example of why some of these in the more general section are not can easily be seen by looking at Dictionary.com's definitions for simile and metaphor, where I noticed a key difference in the two definitions (in both sources): similes compare things in some way without saying one thing is another, while metaphors compare by saying one thing is another, almost like calling an object like another.
I think that because this topic is very closely related to it, we should look to the article Metaphor for a few hints on improving this one. I do realize that it is labelled Start-Class, thus far from perfect, but it is a lot better than this one in terms of content.
This is just my honest opinion.impinball (talk) 16:17, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

3 changes to section "Usage of a simile"[edit]

  • Removing: Ay, as Aeneas, our great ancestor/Did from the flames of Troy, upon his shoulder/the old Anchises bear...--I can't find a simile in there. The quote is unsourced and unexplained. It's just irritating. Source code was: {{rquote|right|Ay, as [[Aeneas]], our great ancestor/Did from the flames of Troy, upon his shoulder/the old [[Anchises]] bear...}}
  • Removing: Milton avoids digressive tendencies in his choice of illustrative material, choosing his imagery with an almost mathematical subtlety, in terms of his use of the epic simile.--Mumbo-jumbo. What Milton? What digressive tendencies? Since when is math subtle? If you decide to put this back in, please include an example and remove the verbiage from the sentence.
  • Cleaning up paragraph about Shakespeare —Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.99.145.162 (talkcontribs)
It's unfortunately that they didn't complete the Aeneas allusion or give the context. It's from Cassius in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, and runs
I, as Aeneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber
Did I the tired Caesar: and this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Caesar carelessly but nod on him.
It is rather a classic line in the play, but not the best example of simile. — Laura Scudder 04:15, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

^Simile is similar^[edit]

The line stating that 'A simple way to remember is to say "A simile is similar"' seems out of place and unencyclopedic. This may be useful to some, however, so I didn't want just to delete it. Can someone think of a better way of including this information? WDavis1911 04:51, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I certainly would not say "a simile is similar or alike" is a popular mnemonic for a simile, a search in google reflects this: google search result. Therefore I am removing the word "popular" so that it says: 'A mnemonic for a simile is that "a simile is similar or alike."'. --Ingramhk (talk) 07:23, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Examples generally, offensive or otherwise[edit]

Notability[edit]

Personally I think that all the examples should be properly cited quotations (from the most notable tomes available). For example "faster than lightning" is in the theme tune to Flipper! "Faster than a speeding bullet" is used in the Superman comics, etc.. Some of the given examples I've never heard before (being a native English speaker that 'suggests' they're not notable) - "as hairy as a bowling ball", "bulletproof as a spongecake"?? 91.108.167.90 (talk) 15:54, 25 September 2008 (UTC) pbhj

I agree with this. Certainlyw e could find suitable examples in wikiquotes. I also think that there are too many example. We only need about 3 per type. --Lendorien (talk) 14:36, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Agree that most of the examples seem to be rubbish. 121.45.221.66 (talk) 22:55, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Ironic simile[edit]

One of the best known to me that is mentioned is "drunk as a skunk", which I'm not sure is really a simile as one who is drunk is no more like a skunk than any other person. Same goes for "he drinks like a fish". Is "ironic simile" a proper term in literary study if so it should be spelt out explicitly so that it's "plain as the nose on ones face"(!). 91.108.167.90 (talk) 15:54, 25 September 2008 (UTC) pbhj

I HATE IT —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.93.167.2 (talk) 15:24, 2 April 2009 (UTC)