Speaking of Animals: A Dictionary of Animal Metaphors

Overview

No other nonhuman source has served as the basis for more metaphors than animals. Speaking of Animals is a dictionary of animal metaphors that are current in American English. It is comprehensive, historical, and metaphor-based. Each entry refers to the other dictionaries that catalog that same metaphor, and the dates of first appearance in writing are supplied, where possible, for both the metaphor and the name of the source. The main text is organized alphabetically by metaphor rather than by animal or animal ...

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Overview

No other nonhuman source has served as the basis for more metaphors than animals. Speaking of Animals is a dictionary of animal metaphors that are current in American English. It is comprehensive, historical, and metaphor-based. Each entry refers to the other dictionaries that catalog that same metaphor, and the dates of first appearance in writing are supplied, where possible, for both the metaphor and the name of the source. The main text is organized alphabetically by metaphor rather than by animal or animal behavior; all the metaphors are classified according to their animal source in a list at the end of the book.

An animal metaphor is a word, phrase, or sentence that expresses a resemblance or similarity between someone or something and a particular animal or animal class. True metaphors are single words, such as the noun tiger, the verb hog, and the adjective chicken. Phrasal metaphors combine true metaphors with other words, such as blind tiger, hog the road, and chicken colonel. Other animal metaphors take the form of similes, such as like rats leaving a sinking ship and prickly as a hedgehog. Still others take the form of proverbs, such as Don't count your chickens before they hatch and Let sleeping dogs lie. The horse is the animal most frequently referred to in metaphors, followed closely by the dog. The Bible is the most prolific literary source of animal metaphors, followed closely by Shakespeare.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A dictionary of animal metaphors organized alphabetically by metaphor rather than by animal, with entries on the origins and meanings of familiar and obscure animal-related expressions. Entries are referenced to some 30 other published works by categories such as idioms, slang terms, literary words, and puns. Includes words and expressions that appear to be animal metaphors, but actually aren't. Not to beat a dead horse, but eggheads will go ape over this loony hoot, especially when they go to see a man about a dog. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313294907
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1995
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.35 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT A. PALMATIER is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Western Michigan University.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations and Symbols

References

Reading the Entries

The Dictionary

Classification of Metaphors According to Animal

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