Can You Find 27 Figure Of Speech Examples In This Puzzle?

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Can You Find 27 Figures of Speech

We use many types of figures of speech almost every day

The English language is rich with literal and figurative language. But what is a figure of speech?

It is a rhetorical device, which a writer or speaker deliberately uses to create an implied comparison with a word or phrase.

A common figure of speech often uses an inanimate object. It uses words to convey a figurative instead of a literal meaning.

I am sure you know the expression, all the world’s a stage by William Shakespeare.

The world is not literally a stage where plays are performed by men and women. But Shakespeare uses the word stage to give an abstract meaning to how we all live and behave in our world.

Very also often we use similes and metaphors to express an idea or concept. Idioms are another type of figurative speech.

We use thousands of figurative expressions in our everyday language.

 

Figures of speech examples

We often use an inanimate object as an implied comparison in a figure of speech. It helps to create emphasis. For example, “It’s raining cats and dogs” and “I’ll give you a hand.”

There are no animals falling from the sky. And you would not chop off your hand with an axe to give it to someone. Both of these expressions are a play on words.

These two figurative language phrases literally mean that it is raining very heavily and I’ll gladly assist you.

If you are a writer or an author, you are using words and expressions both literally and figuratively all the time.

You might be trying to create verbal irony, express human qualities or add colour to your text. The most common literary devices are metaphors and similes. These are both well-known figurative expressions.

Another type of figurative form uses word order repetition or similar successive clauses, such as, “In the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Other rhetorical devices can use a chiasmus, where the second part of the expression is balanced against the first. For example, “you should work to live, not live to work.”

Exaggeration, or hyperbole in literary terms, can quickly turn a word or phrase from literal language into figurative. “I have a million things to do at the office today”, or, “it cost me an arm and a leg.”

The opposite, of course, is an understatement. “It’s only a scratch” when referring to a deep or nasty wound. Or, “It’s a little fresh today” when the temperature is well below zero. Or, “Tiger Woods was a half-decent golf player in his prime.”

Other figures of speech examples include euphemisms.

They are very common forms of saying something in a way that is more polite or not as blunt or direct. He passed away instead of he died. I’m going to let you go to replace you’re fired. Or, it fell off the back of a truck, when in fact, it was stolen.

Some expressions use alliteration. This is where a consonant sound is repeated. Examples include, “I’m as busy as a bee” and “It’s as dead as a doornail or dodo.”

One of my pet sources of idioms and expressions is from my favourite sport – cricket. “To be hit for six”, “to be caught on a sticky wicket”, “to be stumped”, “I did it off my own bat”, “to be caught out” and “to bowl a maiden over.” I love the last one.

I am sure you know all this. I don’t need to remind you about idiomatic speech. It is when we use a phrase with an object to create an implied or abstract meaning.

 

More reading: The 20 Most Common Grammar Mistakes

I know you know, but before you disappear off into the ether …

 

How good is your knowledge of figures of speech?

Here is a fun challenge for you to test your knowledge of idiomatic and figurative speech.

I stumbled upon this absolutely brilliant cartoon by Ella Baron in the Times Literary Supplement on Twitter.

Ella has illustrated twenty-seven figurative language terms. They are a mixture of metaphors and similes. I wonder if you can identify all of them.

At first glance, it looks like an easy puzzle to solve. But once you get past identifying the first ten to fifteen idioms, it gets a little more difficult. She has been very cunning indeed. Perhaps, as cunning as a fox.

 

A figure of speech cartoon by Ella Baron

27 Figures of Speech

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an answer list for each of the 27 figures of speech examples represented in the cartoon. Perhaps Ella prefers to play her cards close to her chest, and leave a little mystery by keeping an ace up her sleeve.

I got as far as identifying twenty or so from the picture but then ran into trouble. Maybe you can do better than me and find all twenty-seven of them.

I don’t want to give you a red herring or spill the beans. So I will leave you to it. I’m sure it will be a piece of cake.

 

Related reading: 40 Free Writing Apps And The Best Free Writing Software

 

Can you solve the puzzle?

If you manage to find the five or so that I have missed, please let me know by adding your comment to put me out of my misery. Don’t get cold feet!

Do it quickly though, before I kick the bucket. You know how quickly time flies.

Yes, I know it is a tough assignment. But well, you can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg, can you?

Anyway, I have given you more than enough clues to get you halfway to solving the puzzle. Now it’s up to you.

Are you up to the challenge of finding all 27 examples in the image?

 

An update to this article

A big thank you to Kim, who posted a comment on this article. She added this link to Ella Barron’s answer on Twitter. In her post, Ella lists all 27 expressions.

However, Ella adds an interesting aside. There could be up to 49 figure of speech expressions captured within in her cartoon. Now, that really is a tease, isn’t it?

 

Getting your figure of speech expressions right

If you are a writer, you are using set expressions all the time.

However, you should be careful that you always check your usage and accuracy. There is nothing worse than getting a fixed expression wrong.

We all use some form of free or paid online grammar and spell checking nowadays. These apps are extremely useful. They really are essential tools for writing accuracy, especially for new writers.

But these tools will rarely find an error in use in set phrases. For example, as hard as a brick, as brave as a tiger and laughs like a monkey.

Only your knowledge can tell you that they should be. The correct expressions are, as hard as a rock, as brave as a lion and laugh like a hyena.

The same applies to acronyms and abbreviations. A grammar checker is unlikely to help you differentiate between am and a.m. or SCABA when you mean SCUBA.

It doesn’t matter if you are writing a blog post or a book. Always pay close attention when you are editing and proofreading your text.

Yes, you must always check your grammar, spelling and correct your typos. But be sure to double-check your fixed figurative expressions as well to make sure they are correct.

A figure of speech is a word or phrase that you absolutely must get 100% right, 100% of the time.

 

Related reading: Further vs Farther – How Are They Different?

 

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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

88 thoughts on “Can You Find 27 Figure Of Speech Examples In This Puzzle?

  • July 16, 2019 at 12:36 am
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    Because l wanted to now them very well and memories them in my brain

    Reply
  • March 30, 2019 at 3:09 pm
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    In a Nutshell
    Cracked up
    Piece of cake
    Cherry on top/ Cherry on the cake
    Bald as a coot
    Bird brain
    A screw loose
    Stiff upper lip
    Born with a silver spoon in your mouth
    Earworm/ Bug in your ear
    Play your cards close to your chest
    Joker in the pack
    Ace up your sleeve/ Trick up your sleeve
    Heart on your sleeve
    On a silver platter
    Spill the beans
    Big cheese
    Stick your neck out
    Raise an eyebrow
    Eyes wide open
    Red herring
    To tie the knot
    Put all your eggs in one basket
    Walking on eggshells
    Shadow of your former self
    No room to swing a cat
    Cat’s got your tongue
    Kick the bucket
    Pull your socks up
    Cold feet
    From rags to riches
    Time flies
    Best foot forward
    Tongue
    In a Nutshell
    Cracked up
    Piece of cake
    Cherry on top/ Cherry on the cake
    Bald as a coot
    Bird brain
    A screw loose
    Stiff upper lip
    Born with a silver spoon in your mouth
    Earworm/ Bug in your ear
    Play your cards close to your chest
    Joker in the pack
    Ace up your sleeve/ Trick up your sleeve
    Heart on your sleeve
    On a silver platter
    Spill the beans
    Big cheese
    Stick your neck out
    Raise an eyebrow
    Eyes wide open

    Red herring
    To tie the knot
    Put all your eggs in one basket
    Walking on eggshells
    Shadow of your former self
    No room to swing a cat
    Cat’s got your tongue
    Kick the bucket
    Pull your socks up
    Cold feet
    From rags to riches
    Time flies
    Best foot forward
    Tongue tied
    Shoe on the other foot
    Fish out of water
    Worm your way out
    More holes than swiss cheese
    Stepping on toes
    Tongue-tied
    Shoe on the other foot
    Fish out of water
    Worm your way out
    More holes than swiss cheese
    Stepping on toes

    Reply
  • March 26, 2019 at 2:01 am
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    By positioning myself in a great vantage point especially one with a birds eye view I’ve got the ace up the sleeve, so I will get through this as quickly as I can as we all know how time flies, especially when you got all your eggs in one basket. Kicking the bucket is not something I do often simply because I’m very careful to keep my cards close to the chest while walking on egg shells. But on some occasions the shoes on the other foot but still remain composed not to leave a screw loose. I have always been advised to put a bug in the ear some I’m aware of who is spilling the beans. Silver platter and silver spoon in the mouth was not the privilege I was exposed to, what really kept me in tune and allowed me to acquire the common sense needed was to make sure I don’t wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve … has the cat got your tongue you say, definitely not, I just know just where and when not to share, to me my experiences has made my discerning skills a piece of cake and no red herring placed in front of me could ever get me tongue tied. You could swing a cat or hold a cat by the tail and it will not unsettle me or give me cold feet which may then force me to pull my socks up. Cast a shadow over me, tie my legs to a tree, even with half a brain I promise I will always strive to go from rags to riches as I always put my best foot forward, even if the shots that life takes at me, as much as it may look like more holes than a Swiss cheese I will always come out on the brighter side with a cherry on top while still being the smart joker in the pack that’s just my attitude In a nut shell.

    Reply
  • March 26, 2019 at 1:52 am
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    I’ve got the ace up the sleeve, so I will get through this as quickly as I can as we all know how time flies, especially when you got all your eggs in one basket,
    kicking the bucket is not something I do often simply because I’m very careful to keep my cards close to the chest while walking on egg shells.
    But on some occasions the shoes on the other foot but still remain composed not to leave a screw loose. I have always been advised to put a bug in the ear some Im aware of who is spilling the beans. Silver platter and silver spoon in the mouth was not the privilege I was exposed to when really kept me in tune and allowed me to acquire the common sense needed to make sure I don’t wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve, has the cat got your tongue, definable not I just know just when and when not to share, to me my experiences as made my discerning skills a piece of cake and no red herring placed in from of me could ever get me tongue tied. You could swing a cat or hold a cat by the tail and it will not unsettle me or give me cold feet which may then force me to pull up your socks up. Cast a shadow over me, tie my legs to a tree, even with half a brain I promise I will always strive to go from rags to riches as I always put my best foot forward, even if the shots that life takes at me as much as it may look like more holes than a Swiss cheese I will always come out on the brighter side with a cherry on top that’s just my attitude In a nut shell.

    Reply
  • March 21, 2019 at 10:52 am
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    Ants are driving me nuts!

    Reply

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