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, "Westminster", a borough of London in 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.|
|Word or phrase||Original / literal use||Metonymic use|
|10 Downing Street
|The official residence of the British Prime Minister.[n 2]||The British Prime Minister and his or her staff.|
|Bay Street||A street in downtown Toronto||The Canadian financial sector, since the Toronto Stock Exchange, the country's main securities market, and the headquarters of many of its major banks, are located there|
|Broadway||A street in Manhattan, New York City.||Broadway theatre; sometimes, although less accurately, commercial American theatre in general.|
|Brussels||The capital of Belgium.||Institutions of the European Union, headquartered in that city, or the EU as a whole.|
|Buckingham Palace or the Palace||A large building in London that is the official residence of the reigning British sovereign||The British royal family and its staff|
|"the City" / "The City"||The City of London, the part of Central London, England, that has the longest contiguous recorded history.||The financial (and related) institutions located in the City of London.|
|Capitol Hill or the Hill||A neighborhood in Washington, D.C.||The United States Congress|
|Cooperstown||A village in upstate New York, USA.||The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Cooperstown, New York.|
|Detroit||The largest city in Michigan, USA.||The American automobile industry.|
|Élysée Palace||The Élysée Palace is the seat of the President of France.||The President of the French Republic and his or her staff.|
|Fifth Avenue||A street in the New York City borough of Manhattan||The upscale retailers that are generally located along it|
|The fifth floor||The floor of a building above the fourth floor||The Mayor of Chicago and his or her staff, since their offices are on that floor of city hall|
|Fleet Street||A street in the City of London.||The British national press.|
|Foggy Bottom||A neighbourhood in Washington, D.C..||The United States Department of State has its seat in the area.|
|Hollywood||A district of Los Angeles, California.||The American film industry.|
|Hrad ("The Castle")||The Prague Castle and official residence and office of the President of the Czech Republic.||The President of the Czech Republic and his or her staff, and also the Czech Republic as a whole.|
|Ikulu||The official residence of the President of Tanzania||The State House and its administration.|
|Itamaraty||Itamaraty Palace in Brasília, headquarters of the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil.||The Brazilian ministry of Foreign Affairs and its diplomats.|
|K Street||A street in downtown Washington, D.C.||The American lobbying industry.|
|Kastilja ("Castile")||Auberge de Castille||The Office of the Prime Minister of Malta.|
|Kremlin||A historic type of Russian fortress or citadel.||The Moscow Kremlin and/or the Russian presidential administration; historically, any Russian government.|
|Langley||A small suburb of Washington, D.C., in Virginia||The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency|
|Løvebakken||The driveway in front of the Storting building.||The supreme legislature of Norway.|
|Madison Avenue||A street in Manhattan, New York City.||The American advertising industry.|
|Nashville||The capital of the state of Tennessee, USA.||The country music industry.|
|Pearl Harbor||The natural harbor on the coast of Oahu island, Hawaii.||The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941.|
|(The) Pentagon||A pentagonal building in Arlington County, Virginia, USA.||The United States Department of Defense (whose headquarters is housed by the Pentagon building).|
|Queen's Park||An urban park in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.||The Ontario Legislative Building (which is located within the park) and/or the provincial government of Ontario.|
|Quai d'Orsay||The headquarters of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located at 37 Quai d'Orsay in Paris.||The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.|
|Sand Hill Road||A street in Menlo Park, California, USA||The venture capital firms that fund startups in the American high-tech industry.|
|Savile Row||A short street in central London||The high-quality bespoke men's suits made by tailors' shops on the street|
|Scotland Yard||Name given to the original public entrance (via "Great Scotland Yard") to the headquarters of the London Metropolitan Police Service.||London or British police, especially detectives.|
|Seventh Avenue||A street in the New York City borough of Manhattan||The American fashion industry|
|Shepherd's Bush||A neighbourhood in west London||The British Broadcasting Corporation|
|Silicon Valley||The suburbs of San Francisco north of San Jose on the southwest side of San Francisco Bay||The American high-tech industry|
|Spring Street||A street in the central business district of Melbourne, Victoria (Australia).||The Parliament and Government of Victoria (and, when used pejoratively, its bureaucracy).[non-primary source needed]|
|Stormont||Stormont Estate, Ireland||The Government of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Assembly.|
|Sublime Porte||A gate giving access to a block of government buildings in Istanbul, Turkey.||The Imperial Government of the Ottoman Empire (sometimes, more specifically, its foreign policies and relations).|
|Threadneedle Street||A street in the City of London.||The Bank of England and/or its directors.|
|Tin Pan Alley||A block along 28th Street in Manhattan||The American popular music industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.|
|Turtle Bay||A neighborhood on the East Side of Manhattan||The United Nations (occasionally)|
|The Vatican||A small sovereign state surrounded by Rome, Italy||The Holy See, and the Roman Catholic Church in general|
|Wall Street||A street in Manhattan, New York City.||The American financial markets (Wall Street is the traditional center of securities trading in the United States).|
|Washington||The state or, as "Washington, D.C." ("Washington, District of Columbia"), the capital of the United States (named for George Washington, the country's first president following independence).||The United States federal government.|
|Watergate||The Watergate Hotel and Office Building in Washington, D.C.||The political scandal exposed after a burglary at the Watergate Hotel.|
|Westminster||A part of Central London, England.||The Parliament of the United Kingdom.|
|(The) White House||The official residence of the President of the United States.||The President of the United States and his or her staff.|
|Youngstorget||A square in Oslo, Norway.||The Norwegian labour movement - the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions and the Labour Party.|
|Whitehall||A street in Westminster, London.||The central government of the United Kingdom, particularly the civil service.|
|Zhongnanhai||A former imperial garden adjacent to an eponymous lake in central Beijing, now used as residences||The leadership of the Chinese government|
- 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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It's easy to forget that before “Wall Street” became a metonym for all things investment banking-related, in the United States and beyond, it was merely a narrow east-west thoroughfare eight blocks long. It's still that, of course, in addition to all the rest, and other cities in other countries have their own Wall Streets, as well. Located in downtown Toronto, Bay Street represents Canada's equivalent.
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- The Ministry, Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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I doubt that many people among the Standards Silicon Valley readership would recognize that 'Seventh Avenue' is code for the fashion industry
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