Get acquainted with a Metonymy

Ксения Молоторенко February 27, 2014

About metonymy, synecdoche, antonomasia

Metonymythe substitution of one object by another on the basis of their common existence in reality. The word metonymy comes from the Greek language and it means something like “the other name". It basically means that you call one thing by another related thing. Unlike metaphor there is a real connection between the concepts used in metonymy.

Let’s look at some examples:
One famous example of metonymy is the saying "The pen is mightier than the sword"

Here, pen represents words or writing and sword represents fighting. Meaning writing is more powerful than war.

So we have two objects representing general ideas.

We can define the structure of Metonymy like this A/B instead of AB.
As with other literary devices, the purpose of a metonymy is to add flavor to the writing. Using a metonymy serves a double purpose - it breaks up any awkwardness of repeating a word or phrase over and over and it makes sentence more interesting!

Metonymy is similar to synecdoche. Synecdoche (from Greek“percepting together”) – the use of a part of an object to represent the whole or vice versa. Semantically synecdoches can be original or trite.

Now some examples from music :)

"That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
I'm driving slow on Sunday morning"


"Come and rest your bones with me"

The line really means YOU come and rest with me. BONES are part of a person.

Thus, this is synecdoche. Original and simple.

Antonomasia (from Greek “renaming”) – a proper name used for a common one or vice versa. So, Antonomasia has the same nature as metonymy, it’s also the substitution.

Semantically Antonomasia also can be original or trite.

Examples Of Antonomasia

  • Do not act like Mr. Bean.

Also I have found popular Antonomasia examples and I guess you’ll find them interesting:

  1. Tarzan – wild
  2. Casanova - a womanizer
  3. The Dark Knight – Batman
  4. Judas – Betrayer
  5. The Iron Lady - Margaret Thatcher
  6. The King of Pop - Michael Jackson
  7. The Comeback Kid - Bill Clinton
  8. The Fab Four - The Beatles
  9. A Scrooge - a miser

I found interesting advertising slogans...

Let’s try to guess.. is there any stylistic devices?

What does in mean?

What «apple» possibly mean?


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so interesting information.. but what really "apple" mean, do you know it?
Sure, I know it! But I appeal to you all to think about it....
i think.. i don't know.. but i think on the 1st pic there are comparison (expressed by link word - ) and antonomasia (scotch whiskey is named by name of brand creator, and in this example use name of creator).. am i right?
Yea!!! Right you are! It's Antonomasia! Actually we can't literally drink Johnnie Walker )) Johnnie Walker is the name of a scotch whiskey, right!
on the first picture focus on the word "apple" ;)
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