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An overview of the rhetorical device, metonymy.

Nathan Brasher

on 11 March 2011

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Transcript of Metonymy

Metonymy -noun Rhetoric .
A figure of speech that consists of the use of the name of one object or concept for that of another to which it is related, or of which it is a part, as “scepter” for “sovereignty,” or “the bottle” for “strong drink,” or “count heads (or noses)” for “count people.” American Psychological Association (APA):
Metonymy. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved March 10, 2011, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Metonymy
Examples of Metonymy Out, Out
Robert Frost

As he swung toward them holding up the hand
Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
The life from spilling.


Renee Liang

you remind me of
a fly caught between walls
a joyful violence
to the way you lurch

from verb to verb
landing on nouns to
taste them with feet.
inside this kitchen Effects of Metonymy Adds Adornment
Beautifies Language
Provides Variation
Exaggerates Exclamation "He writes a fine hand" meaning good handwriting

"The pen is mightier than the sword," meaning literary power is superior to military force.

"The House was called to order," meaning the members in the House.

"We have always remained loyal to the crown." referring to a monarch.
"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears." (Julius Caesar, III, ii)
Difference between Metonymy and Synecdoche Synecdoche references a whole by mentioning a distinctive "part" of the whole. - Metonymy establishes connection by referencing something that is associated with the subject. Synecdoche is often considered a subdivision of Metonymy "The Weary Blues"
Langston Hughes

He did a lazy sway . . .
He did a lazy sway . . .
To the tune o' those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
Sweet Blues!
Coming from a black man's soul.
O Blues! Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar, III, ii Hughes, Langston. The Weary Blues. 1923. eBook. Frost, Robery. Out, Out. eBook. Liang, Renee. Knife. 2011. eBook. Citatons
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