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Metaphor 2 - Meanings of Metaphors
A needle in a haystack - but what does this metaphor mean?

Metaphor 2 - Meanings of Metaphors

In the previous quiz we learnt about metaphors and we continue with them in this quiz as well, where we learn some of their meanings.

Cricket is very popular in India and you will hear metaphors used to describe it:

‘M S Dhoni plays THE HELICOPTER SHOT.’ This metaphor describes a peculiar shot which resembles the spinning rotors of a helicopter.

‘The batsmen were RAINING FOURS AND SIXES in the last five overs.’ This metaphor, which means the batsmen were scoring many fours and sixes, is equated to raining.

As we mentioned in the previous quiz, a metaphor is a figure of speech and it is one among the four most often used figures of speech, the others being simile, hyperbole and personification. Similes and metaphors are similar but the main difference is that in a simile we use the word ‘as’ or ‘like’ to compare whereas in metaphors we equate an action or subject directly. For instance:

‘She runs as fast as lightning.’ This is a simile because we use the word ’as’ to compare her running to lightning.
‘Her running was lightning fast.’ This is a metaphor as we directly use lightning to mean that she runs very fast.

The main function of metaphors is to use resemblance, comparison or association to another action or subject to drive home a particular point more effectively. In the ‘lightning’ example we know that lightning is something associated with very high speed and by comparing somebody’s running to lightning we imply that that person runs very fast.

Our daily lives are always full of figures of speech. You may recall times when your teacher has used them in class while reprimanding a student. Or perhaps your parents use them to drill some good habits into you at home. More importantly, metaphors add colour to our conversations and provide a novel way of understanding our ideas and viewpoints. The quiz that follows exposes you to figures of speech and helps you to identify metaphors.

Boiling mad - is associated with which of the four options?
To become mad.
Boiling water was poured at a mad person.
To be very, very angry.
Boiling something makes one mad.
"Parminder crashed his brother's motorbike and his brother was boiling mad at him."
An uphill struggle - is associated with which of the four options?
Difficulty in making ends meet.
The hill was very steep.
It is hard to climb a hill.
It is a struggle to stay on the hill.
"Due to the recession he lost his job and life became an uphill struggle for him thereafter."
Broken heart - is associated with which of the four options?
Heart breaks into two.
Heart stops functioning.
Split in the heart.
To feel hurt and sad.
"My brother had a broken heart when his girlfriend left him."
Music to his ears - is associated with which of the four options?
To hear good news.
Music is good to hear.
To speak in a musical voice.
To hear only music.
"The announcement that he was selected for the post was music to his ears."
The apple of my eye - is associated with which of the four options?
An apple hit his eye.
Someone beloved and held dear.
He could see an apple.
The apple blocked his view.
"Suresh was jealous of Govind as he was the apple of the science teacher's eye."
Bubbly personality - is associated with which of the four options?
Being cheerful.
Full of soap bubbles.
Personality is like bubbles.
"She has such a bubbly personality that she will get along with any one and keep everyone happy and cheerful."
Rollercoaster of emotions - is associated with which of the four options?
The new rollercoaster.
The rollercoaster has emotions.
A measure of emotions.
To experience lots of ups and downs.
"When his lost puppy then found it again he went through a rollercoaster of emotions."
The light of my life - is associated with which of the four options?
Life is bright.
Someone who brings happiness or joy.
Life is full of light.
There is no shortage of light in his life.
"All my four children are the lights of my life. They bring me so much of happiness."
Time is a thief - is associated with which of the four options?
Somebody stole a clock.
Time passes quickly.
The thief stole a timepiece.
A thief wanted to know the time.
"I keep telling the children to spend their time usefully and not allow time to be a thief."
Looking for a needle in a haystack - is associated with which of the four options?
Somebody hid the needle.
The needle was lost in the haystack.
Someone is trying to pinch the haystack with a needle.
Almost an impossible task.
"The little boy was lost in the huge crowd and searching for him was like searching for a needle in a haystack."
Author:  V T Narendra

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