Word of the Week: Metonymy

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Boy does it feel good to be back in Ottawa, although I just can’t get over how much warmer it is hear than back at my hometown! Although I welcome the coming of Spring with open arms, I will miss the beauty of a snow draped city, not to mention skating along the Rideau Canal. Well, unless the seasonal pattern breaks completely, winter will come around at the same time next year. To brush away this winter time melancholy, how about we get pumped by learning some new words!

Our Word of the Week this time is…. METONYMY!

Crown  =    King John

Definition: It is a figure of speech where a single word or phrase is substituted for yet another which has a close association with that word or phrase. For instance, royalty is usually represented by a crown.

Synonyms: allegory, alliteration, allusion, comparison, parallel, literary device, metaphor.

Word Origin: This rhetorical device finds its roots buried in Greece, as far back as the mid 1500’s. The first part of the word, ‘meta’, indicates a change in something, in this case a ‘changing of name’. It is most commonly utilized as a poetic or literary concept, and is very closely related to the term “synecdoche’, where a part of something is used to refer to the thing as a whole. 

If I had to choose one word to substitute with my name, or who I am, I think it would have to be “contradiction”. Confused? Well, here is a list of several reasons why this word suits me:

1. I don’t like chocolat, but I still eat oreo’s and peanut butter cups.

2. I don’t like violence, and yet I loved watching 300.

3. I don’t like swearing, and yet I swear a lot when I’m angry

4. I’m afraid of people (for the most part), and yet I feel perfectly comfortable talking to strangers.

5. I grew up on a farm, and I am a vegetarian (you can imagine the reaction I got from my parents)

These are just the first few things that come to mind. In fact, I would be interested to see what you guys come up with. Try and think of a word, or symbol, or something which could be effectively substituted for your name/who you are. Just something fun to think about. Feel free to leave what you come up with in the comments, and until next time, happy reading!



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