A-Z Challenge 2015: M is for Metonym or Metonymy

What is a Metonym or Metonymy? A metonym is a word or phrase used in place of a closely related word. A metonym is a form of figurative language. Metonyms closely resemble metaphors, but the thing being represented by a metonym will be a close match. A metonym is often an attribute or a component part of the thing being represented.


  • “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.” – Shakespeare’s “Julies Caesar” Act I.
  • “As he swung toward them holding up the hand
    Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
    The life from spilling” – “Out, Out” by Robert Frost.
  • He is a man of the cloth.
  • Can you please give me a hand carrying this box up the stairs?
  • The library – for the staff or the books
  • Pen – for the written word
  • Sword – for military might

I have never heard of this term but I use it every day in my speech and written communications. Do you have a metonym that you use over and over again?

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5 Responses

  1. Liesel Hill says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard the term either. You learn something new every day! Thanks Rebekah! 😀

  2. Stephen Tremp says:

    I have not. But this I do know. M is for Midway point of A to Z! Thanks for your continued participation!

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    M is for Movies

    • R.K. Grow says:

      Stephen, I am so glad to hear we are half way. I’ve been doing a week at-a-time and I am loving it. I wish we could do this in the fall as well but I guess that is what NaNoWriMo is for. Thank you again for stopping by.

  3. Rosie Amber says:

    This has got me thinking, not heard of this before, but I expect I use examples of it. Dropping in from the A to Z I have given your blog a shout out from my letter N https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/

What are your thoughts?


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