Creative writing Poetry


Metonymy is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is replaced with another word or phrase closely associated with it, but not actually a part of it. In other words, it is a form of figurative language that uses one term to represent another related term.

For example, when people say “The White House” to refer to the President or his administration or “Hollywood” to refer to the American film industry, they are using metonymy. In both cases, the term used refers to something closely associated with the intended meaning, but is not literally the same thing.

Metonymy can add color and depth to language, making it more exciting and expressive. It is commonly used in literature, poetry, and everyday conversation.

Here are a few common examples of metonymy:

  1. “The pen is mightier than the sword.” In this famous phrase, “pen” is used to represent written words, while “sword” is used to represent violence or military force.
  2. “The suits on Wall Street are making big decisions.” Here, “suits” is used to represent businesspeople, and “Wall Street” is used to represent the financial industry as a whole.
  3. “Let me give you a hand.” In this case, “hand” is used to represent assistance or help.
  4. “The crown” is used to refer to the monarchy or the head of state in a monarchial system.
  5. “The kettle is boiling” is used to refer to the water inside the kettle that is boiling rather than the kettle itself.
  6. “Washington” is used to refer to the federal government of the United States because the city of Washington D.C. is the location of the government buildings and offices.
  7. “The press” is used to refer to the news media, including newspapers, TV, and online news sources.



By Benjamin L. Stewart

I´m an EFL teacher educator and foreign language coordinator at the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes in Mexico.

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