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List of political Metaphors

This is a list of common political metaphors.

Political Metaphor types
1 Relating to the executive
2 Relating to legislation
3 Relating to elections
4 Relating to world politics
5 Relating to the issues
6 Others
7 References
Relating to the executive
eminence grise: literally, “grey man,” from French. Colloquially, the power-behind-the-throne. An official close to the president or monarch who has so much power behind the scenes that he or she may double or serve as the monarch.
figurehead: a leader whose powers are entirely symbolic, such as a constitutional monarch.
puppet government: a government that is manipulated by a foreign power for its own interests.
star chamber: a secretive council or other group within a government that possesses the actual power, regardless of the government’s overt form.
Relating to legislation
blank check legislation which is vaguely worded to the point where it can be widely exploited and abused.
grandfather clause that allows a piece of legislation not to apply to something old or incumbent.
poison pill a provision in an act or bill which defeats or undermines its initial purpose or makes it politically unacceptable.
pork barrel legislation or patronage: acts of government that blatantly favor powerful special interest groups.
rider that attaches something new or unrelated to an existing bill.
sunset clause to prevent legislation from being permanent.
a trigger law that will automatically “spring” into effect once some other variable occurs.
Relating to elections
character assassination: spreading (usually) manufactured stories about a candidate with the intent to destroy his or her reputation in the eyes of the public.
dark/black horse: a candidate who is largely ignored by opponents yet makes significant gains.
gerrymandering: reshaping district lines to include/exclude segments of voters that may help/hurt your chances of election.
landslide victory: a huge victory for one side.
muckraking: uncovering and publicizing scandalous information about a person or organization
mudslinging: harsh partisan insults exchanged between candidates.
parachute candidate / carpetbagger: a candidate who runs for election in an area which he or she is not a native resident or has no ties.
paper candidate: a candidate who puts no effort into his campaign and is essentially just a name on the ballot.
riding coattails: victories by local or state politicians because of the popularity of more powerful politicians.
sacrificial lamb: a candidate who is put forward to run for office, by his party or others, but who has no chance of winning.
stalking horse: a perceived front-runner candidate who unifies his or her opponents, usually within a single political party.
grassroots: a political movement driven by the constituents of a community.
astroturfing: formal public relations campaigns in politics and advertising that seek to create the impression of being spontaneous, grassroots behavior.
stooge: To mislead a candidate or campaigner, or to masquerade as a constituent interested in an issue being promoted.
Relating to world politics
hard power: using military force against another country as form of punishment.
soft power: using economic and diplomatic sanctions against another country as a form of punishment.
soft tyranny: when a democratic government uses its power in a manner which diminishes the rights or power of the voters.
big stick diplomacy: flexing muscles militarily against other countries to show dominance.
Relating to the issues
wedge issue: an issue which turns members of a party against each other.
third rail: an issue which is so controversial, pursuing it or even attempting to address it could end one’s political career.
straw man: the practice of refuting an argument that is weaker than one’s opponent actually offers, or which he simply has not put forth at all. A type of logical fallacy.
sacred cow: an institution which few dare question, because it is so revered.
Others
bread and circuses: satisfaction of shallow or immediate desires of the populace at the expense of good policy; also, the erosion of civic duty and the public life in a populace.
Government in the sunshine: a government which keeps all its records and documents open and easily accessible by the public.
lame duck: a politician who has lost an election, or who is serving his last term in an office where the law limits the number of times he may succeed himself, and is simply waiting for his term to expire.
melting pot: a society in which all outsiders assimilate to one social norm.
salad bowl: a society in which cultural groups retain their unique attributes (opposite of melting pot theory).
Spin (public relations): a heavily biased portrayal of an event or situation.
Turkeys voting for Christmas: Acting against one’s own interests with no conceivable gain.
witch-hunt: a hysterical pursuit of political enemies.

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Viral Tactic

List of Metaphors

A list of metaphors in the English language organised by type. A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., “Her eyes were glistening jewels”. Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via association, comparison or resemblance. In this broader sense, antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile would all be considered types of metaphor. Aristotle used both this sense and the regular, current sense above. With metaphor, unlike analogy, specific interpretations are not given explicitly.

Metaphor types
1 Animals
2 Body parts
3 Nautical
4 Objects
5 People
6 Places
7 Science
8 Sport
9 Various
10 War
11 Lists
12 References
Animals
800 lb gorilla
Albatross (metaphor)
Song bird (metaphor)
Belling the cat
Blind men and an elephant
Boiling frog
Butterfly effect
Camel’s nose
Chicken or the egg
Dead cat bounce
Duck trick
Elephant in the room
Beating a dead horse
Four Asian Tigers
His Eye is on the Sparrow
Jumping the gun
Letting the cat out of the bag
Mama grizzly
Monkey see, monkey do
Ostrich effect
Reverse ferret
Seeing pink elephants
The Sheep and the Goats
Snake venom
Spherical cow
Throw to the wolves
Turkeys voting for Christmas
Turtles all the way down
White elephant
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?
You have two cows
Shaving a cat with no hair
Put stamp on it
The pants are already ironed
Body parts
Broken heart
Cold feet
Heart (symbol)
Kansas Burrito
Kansas Nugget
Nautical
See also: Glossary of nautical terms
Taken aback, on a square-pingas the sails were ‘taken aback’ when the wind was blowing on the wrong side of the sails causing a dangerous situation. Later used to indicate a difficult or unexpected situation.
Batten down the hatches
Clear the decks to get everything out of the way as a warship went into action.
Show someone the ropes to show or explain to someone how to do a task or operation. Taken from the use of ropes to orient and adjust the sails.
Sail close to the wind is to operate hazardously on very slim margins, usually applied in a financial sense. Derived from the technique of sailing close to the direction of the oncoming wind.
Loaded to the gunwales
Back and fill
On one’s beam ends
Awash
Adrift
A wide berth
Flagship
Unmoored
Nail one’s colors to the mast
Flying the flag
Plain sailing
With flying colors – the colors was the national flag flown at sea during battle, a ship would surrender by lowering the colors and the term is now used to indicate a triumphant victory or win.
In the doldrums
All hands to the pumps
Weathering a storm
A different tack
Swinging the lead is to avoid duty by feigning illness or injury, original a confusion between Swing the leg which related to the way dogs can run on three legs to gain sympathy and the sailor’s term heaving the lead which was to take soundings.
Left high and dry
Three sheets to the wind, meaning “staggering drunk,” refers to a ship whose sheets have come loose, causing the sails to flap uncontrolled and the ship to meander at the mercy of the elements. Also, “Three sheets in the wind, unsteady from drink.”
Sun over the yardarm: This phrase is widely used, both afloat and ashore, to indicate that the time of day has been reached at which it is acceptable to have lunch or (more commonly) to have an alcoholic beverage.
“Take soundings”: In suspected shallow waters, a crew member may have the task of repeatedly throwing into the water a lead line, or piece of lead tied to a string knotted every fathom, for the purpose of estimating the depth of the sea. This saying the nautical equivalent of “Take the lay of the land”: see how things are going, or see what people think about a proposed course of action.[citation needed]
“By and large” comes from a term for sailing a ship slightly off of the wind
“To the bitter end” may have originally referred to a rope fastened to the bitt, a post attached on the deck of a ship., although this etymology has been disputed
Objects
Big red button
Brass ring
Brass monkey
Bucket brigade
Chain reaction
Chinese fire drill
Cultural mosaic
Domino effect
Don’t judge a book by its cover
Holy Grail
Inverted pyramid
Law of the instrument
Melting pot
Rosetta Stone
Silver bullet
Snowball effect
Soapbox
Zanata Stone
A big chair
A sailboat
People
Aunt Sally
Cassandra (metaphor)
Copernican Revolution (metaphor)
Hobson’s choice
Judgment of Solomon
Mary Sue
Procrustes
Whipping boy
Aunt Flow
Benedict Arnold
Places
Crossing the Rubicon
wikt:crossroads, a decision point; a turning point or opportunity to change direction, course, or goal.
Fork in the road (metaphor)
wikt:grey area, an area or topic that is not one thing or the other, or where the border between two things is fuzzy. See also wikt:fall between two stools
Ground zero
Mother lode
Plateau effect
Podunk
Point of no return
Slippery slope
Walk to Canossa
Science
Richard Honeck described three forms of scientific metaphors: “mixed scientific metaphor, the scientific metaphor theme, and the scientific metaphor that redefines a concept from a theory.”

1959 Valency (linguistics), by Lucien Tesnière, from Valence (chemistry) (1789, by William Higgins)
1973 Inductor, by Deleuze and Guattari, from Electromagnetic induction (1831, by Michael Faraday)
1980 Rhizome (philosophy), by Deleuze and Guattari, from botanical rhizome
Sport
Baseball metaphors for sex
Carnoustie effect
Doing a Leeds
Face-off
False start
Jump the Gun
Media scrum
Own goal
Pole position
Political football
Par for the course
Various
Aesopian language
Apollo archetype
Bad apples
Bad apples excuse
Battle of egos
Betamax
Bīja
Black-and-white dualism
Bootstrapping
Cabin fever
Cherry picking (fallacy)
China Syndrome
City on a Hill
Closeted
Coming out
Drunkard’s search
Enchanted loom
Endianness
Fatted calf
Few bad apples
Five wisdoms
Gates of horn and ivory
Gold in the mine
Gordian Knot
Greek to me
Green shoots
Hue and cry
Hungry ghost
Indra’s net
Iron (metaphor)
Jungle
Kōan
Late bloomer
List of scientific metaphors
McNamara fallacy
Mindstream
Moral compass
Musical chairs
The Myth of Sisyphus
Neurathian bootstrap
Nutshell
One bad apple
Panopticon gaze
Pear-shaped
Post turtle
The price of milk
Ignoratio elenchi
Invincible ignorance fallacy
Red pill and blue pill
Representation (systemics)
Roof of the World
Salad days
Salt and Light
Ship of state
Son of a gun
Survival of the fittest
Teaching grandmother to suck eggs
Technical debt
Touchstone (metaphor)
Tragedy of the commons
Tunnel vision
Unmarked grave
Yin and yang
New Testament military metaphors
New Testament athletic metaphors
War
Catch-22 (logic)
Double edged sword
Dry powder
Fog of war
No-win situation
Pyrrhic victory
Saber noise
Shareholder rights plan
Shooting the messenger
Smoking gun
Texas sharpshooter fallacy
War chest
Win-win game

Categories
Viral Tactic

Metaphors in Viral Marketing

A metaphor is a figure of speech that, for rhetorical effect, directly refers to one thing by mentioning another. It may provide (or obscure) clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas. Metaphors are often compared with other types of figurative language, such as antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile. One of the most commonly cited examples of a metaphor in English literature comes from the “All the world’s a stage” monologue from As You Like It:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances …
—William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2/7

This quotation expresses a metaphor because the world is not literally a stage. By asserting that the world is a stage, Shakespeare uses points of comparison between the world and a stage to convey an understanding about the mechanics of the world and the behavior of the people within it.

According to the linguist Anatoly Liberman, the use of metaphors is relatively late in the modern European languages; it is, in principle, a post-Renaissance phenomenon. At the other extreme, some recent linguistic theories view all language in essence as metaphorical.

Etymology
The English metaphor derived from the 16th-century Old French word métaphore, which comes from the Latin metaphora, “carrying over”, in turn from the Greek μεταφορά (metaphorá), “transfer”, from μεταφέρω (metapherō), “to carry over”, “to transfer” and that from μετά (meta), “after, with, across” + φέρω (pherō), “to bear”, “to carry”.

Parts of a metaphor
The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1937) by rhetorician I. A. Richards describes a metaphor as having two parts: the tenor and the vehicle. The tenor is the subject to which attributes are ascribed. The vehicle is the object whose attributes are borrowed. In the previous example, “the world” is compared to a stage, describing it with the attributes of “the stage”; “the world” is the tenor, and “a stage” is the vehicle; “men and women” is the secondary tenor, and “players” is the secondary vehicle.

Other writers[which?] employ the general terms ‘ground’ and ‘figure’ to denote the tenor and the vehicle. Cognitive linguistics uses the terms ‘target’ and ‘source’, respectively.

Psychologist Julian Jaynes coined the terms ‘metaphrand’ and ‘metaphier’, plus two new concepts, ‘paraphrand’ and ‘paraphier’. ‘Metaphrand’ is equivalent to the metaphor-theory terms ‘tenor’, ‘target’, and ‘ground’. ‘Metaphier’ is equivalent to the metaphor-theory terms ‘vehicle’, ‘figure’, and ‘source’. In a simple metaphor, an obvious attribute of the metaphier exactly characterizes the metaphrand (e.g. the ship plowed the seas). With an inexact metaphor, however, a metaphier might have associated attributes or nuances – its paraphiers – that enrich the metaphor because they “project back” to the metaphrand, potentially creating new ideas – the paraphrands – associated thereafter with the metaphrand or even leading to a new metaphor. For example, in the metaphor “Pat is a tornado”, the metaphrand is “Pat”, the metaphier is “tornado”. As metaphier, “tornado” carries paraphiers such as power, storm and wind, counterclockwise motion, and danger, threat, destruction, etc. The metaphoric meaning of “tornado” is inexact: one might understand that ‘Pat is powerfully destructive’ through the paraphrand of physical and emotional destruction; another person might understand the metaphor as ‘Pat can spin out of control’. In the latter case, the paraphier of ‘spinning motion’ has become the paraphrand ‘psychological spin’, suggesting an entirely new metaphor for emotional unpredictability, a possibly apt description for a human being hardly applicable to a tornado. Based on his analysis, Jaynes claims that metaphors not only enhance description, but “increase enormously our powers of perception…and our understanding of [the world], and literally create new objects”.:50

As a type of comparison
Metaphors are most frequently compared with similes. It is said, for instance, that a metaphor is ‘a condensed analogy’ or ‘analogical fusion’ or that they ‘operate in a similar fashion’ or are ‘based on the same mental process’ or yet that ‘the basic processes of analogy are at work in metaphor’. It is also pointed out that ‘a border between metaphor and analogy is fuzzy’ and ‘the difference between them might be described (metaphorically) as the distance between things being compared’. A metaphor asserts the objects in the comparison are identical on the point of comparison, while a simile merely asserts a similarity through use of words such as “like” or “as”. For this reason a common-type metaphor is generally considered more forceful than a simile.

The metaphor category contains these specialized types:

Allegory: An extended metaphor wherein a story illustrates an important attribute of the subject.
Antithesis: A rhetorical contrast of ideas by means of parallel arrangements of words, clauses, or sentences.
Catachresis: A mixed metaphor, sometimes used by design and sometimes by accident (a rhetorical fault).
Hyperbole: Excessive exaggeration to illustrate a point.
Parable: An extended metaphor told as an anecdote to illustrate or teach a moral or spiritual lesson, such as in Aesop’s fables or Jesus’ teaching method as told in the Bible.
Pun: A verbal device by which multiple definitions of a word or its homophones are used to give a sentence multiple valid readings, typically to humorous effect.
Similitude: An extended simile or metaphor that has a picture part (Bildhälfte), a reality part (Sachhälfte), and a point of comparison (teritium comparationis). Similitudes are found in the parables of Jesus.
Metaphor vs metonymy
Metaphor is distinct from metonymy, both constituting two fundamental modes of thought. Metaphor works by bringing together concepts from different conceptual domains, whereas metonymy uses one element from a given domain to refer to another closely related element. A metaphor creates new links between otherwise distinct conceptual domains, whereas a metonymy relies on pre-existent links within them.

For example, in the phrase “lands belonging to the crown”, the word “crown” is a metonymy because some monarchs do indeed wear a crown, physically. In other words, there is a pre-existent link between “crown” and “monarchy”. On the other hand, when Ghil’ad Zuckermann argues that the Israeli language is a “phoenicuckoo cross with some magpie characteristics”, he is using a metaphor.:4 There is no physical link between a language and a bird. The reason the metaphors “phoenix” and “cuckoo” are used is that on the one hand hybridic “Israeli” is based on Hebrew, which, like a phoenix, rises from the ashes; and on the other hand, hybridic “Israeli” is based on Yiddish, which like a cuckoo, lays its egg in the nest of another bird, tricking it to believe that it is its own egg. Furthermore, the metaphor “magpie” is employed because, according to Zuckermann, hybridic “Israeli” displays the characteristics of a magpie, “stealing” from languages such as Arabic and English.:4–6

Subtypes
A dead metaphor is a metaphor in which the sense of a transferred image has become absent. The phrases “to grasp a concept” and “to gather what you’ve understood” use physical action as a metaphor for understanding. The audience does not need to visualize the action; dead metaphors normally go unnoticed. Some distinguish between a dead metaphor and a cliché. Others use “dead metaphor” to denote both.

A mixed metaphor is a metaphor that leaps from one identification to a second inconsistent with the first, e.g.:

I smell a rat […] but I’ll nip him in the bud” — Irish politician Boyle Roche

This form is often used as a parody of metaphor itself:

If we can hit that bull’s-eye then the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards… Checkmate.

— Futurama character Zapp Brannigan.
An extended metaphor, or conceit, sets up a principal subject with several subsidiary subjects or comparisons. In the above quote from As You Like It, the world is first described as a stage and then the subsidiary subjects men and women are further described in the same context.

An implicit metaphor has no specified tenor, although the vehicle is present. M. H. Abrams offers the following as an example of an implicit metaphor: “That reed was too frail to survive the storm of its sorrows”. The reed is the vehicle for the implicit tenor, someone’s death, and the “storm” is the vehicle for the person’s “sorrows”.

Metaphor can serve as a device for persuading an audience of the user’s argument or thesis, the so-called rhetorical metaphor.

In rhetoric and literature
Aristotle writes in his work the Rhetoric that metaphors make learning pleasant: “To learn easily is naturally pleasant to all people, and words signify something, so whatever words create knowledge in us are the pleasantest.” When discussing Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Jan Garret stated “metaphor most brings about learning; for when [Homer] calls old age “stubble”, he creates understanding and knowledge through the genus, since both old age and stubble are [species of the genus of] things that have lost their bloom.” Metaphors, according to Aristotle, have “qualities of the exotic and the fascinating; but at the same time we recognize that strangers do not have the same rights as our fellow citizens”.

Educational psychologist Andrew Ortony gives more explicit detail: “Metaphors are necessary as a communicative device because they allow the transfer of coherent chunks of characteristics — perceptual, cognitive, emotional and experiential — from a vehicle which is known to a topic which is less so. In so doing they circumvent the problem of specifying one by one each of the often unnameable and innumerable characteristics; they avoid discretizing the perceived continuity of experience and are thus closer to experience and consequently more vivid and memorable.”

As style in speech and writing
As a characteristic of speech and writing, metaphors can serve the poetic imagination. This allows Sylvia Plath, in her poem “Cut”, to compare the blood issuing from her cut thumb to the running of a million soldiers, “redcoats, every one”; and enabling Robert Frost, in “The Road Not Taken”, to compare a life to a journey.

Metaphors can be implied and extended throughout pieces of literature.

Larger applications
Sonja K. Foss characterizes metaphors as “nonliteral comparisons in which a word or phrase from one domain of experience is applied to another domain”. She argues that since reality is mediated by the language we use to describe it, the metaphors we use shape the world and our interactions to it.

A metaphorical visualization of the word anger.
The term metaphor is used to describe more basic or general aspects of experience and cognition:

A cognitive metaphor is the association of object to an experience outside the object’s environment
A conceptual metaphor is an underlying association that is systematic in both language and thought
A root metaphor is the underlying worldview that shapes an individual’s understanding of a situation
A nonlinguistic metaphor is an association between two nonlinguistic realms of experience
A visual metaphor uses an image to create the link between different ideas
Conceptual metaphors
Main article: Conceptual metaphor
Some theorists have suggested that metaphors are not merely stylistic, but that they are cognitively important as well. In Metaphors We Live By, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson argue that metaphors are pervasive in everyday life, not just in language, but also in thought and action. A common definition of metaphor can be described as a comparison that shows how two things that are not alike in most ways are similar in another important way. They explain how a metaphor is simply understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another, called a “conduit metaphor”. A speaker can put ideas or objects into containers, and then send them along a conduit to a listener who removes the object from the container to make meaning of it. Thus, communication is something that ideas go into, and the container is separate from the ideas themselves. Lakoff and Johnson give several examples of daily metaphors in use, including “argument is war” and “time is money”. Metaphors are widely used in context to describe personal meaning. The authors suggest that communication can be viewed as a machine: “Communication is not what one does with the machine, but is the machine itself.”

As a foundation of our conceptual system
Cognitive linguists emphasize that metaphors serve to facilitate the understanding of one conceptual domain—typically an abstraction such as “life”, “theories” or “ideas”—through expressions that relate to another, more familiar conceptual domain—typically more concrete, such as “journey”, “buildings” or “food”. For example: we devour a book of raw facts, try to digest them, stew over them, let them simmer on the back-burner, regurgitate them in discussions, and cook up explanations, hoping they do not seem half-baked.

A convenient short-hand way of capturing this view of metaphor is the following: CONCEPTUAL DOMAIN (A) IS CONCEPTUAL DOMAIN (B), which is what is called a conceptual metaphor. A conceptual metaphor consists of two conceptual domains, in which one domain is understood in terms of another. A conceptual domain is any coherent organization of experience. For example, we have coherently organized knowledge about journeys that we rely on in understanding life.

Lakoff and Johnson greatly contributed to establishing the importance of conceptual metaphor as a framework for thinking in language, leading scholars to investigate the original ways in which writers used novel metaphors and question the fundamental frameworks of thinking in conceptual metaphors.

From a sociological, cultural, or philosophical perspective, one asks to what extent ideologies maintain and impose conceptual patterns of thought by introducing, supporting, and adapting fundamental patterns of thinking metaphorically. To what extent does the ideology fashion and refashion the idea of the nation as a container with borders? How are enemies and outsiders represented? As diseases? As attackers? How are the metaphoric paths of fate, destiny, history, and progress represented? As the opening of an eternal monumental moment (German fascism)? Or as the path to communism (in Russian or Czech for example)?[citation needed]

Some cognitive scholars have attempted to take on board the idea that different languages have evolved radically different concepts and conceptual metaphors, while others hold to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. German philologist Wilhelm von Humboldt contributed significantly to this debate on the relationship between culture, language, and linguistic communities. Humboldt remains, however, relatively unknown in English-speaking nations. Andrew Goatly, in “Washing the Brain”, takes on board the dual problem of conceptual metaphor as a framework implicit in the language as a system and the way individuals and ideologies negotiate conceptual metaphors. Neural biological research suggests some metaphors are innate, as demonstrated by reduced metaphorical understanding in psychopathy.

James W. Underhill, in Creating Worldviews: Ideology, Metaphor & Language (Edinburgh UP), considers the way individual speech adopts and reinforces certain metaphoric paradigms. This involves a critique of both communist and fascist discourse. Underhill’s studies are situated in Czech and German, which allows him to demonstrate the ways individuals are thinking both within and resisting the modes by which ideologies seek to appropriate key concepts such as “the people”, “the state”, “history”, and “struggle”.

Though metaphors can be considered to be “in” language, Underhill’s chapter on French, English and ethnolinguistics demonstrates that we cannot conceive of language or languages in anything other than metaphoric terms.

Nonlinguistic metaphors

Tombstone of a Jewish woman depicting broken candles, a visual metaphor of the end of life.
Metaphors can map experience between two nonlinguistic realms. Musicologist Leonard B. Meyer demonstrated how purely rhythmic and harmonic events can express human emotions. It is an open question whether synesthesia experiences are a sensory version of metaphor, the “source” domain being the presented stimulus, such as a musical tone, and the target domain, being the experience in another modality, such as color.

Art theorist Robert Vischer argued that when we look at a painting, we “feel ourselves into it” by imagining our body in the posture of a nonhuman or inanimate object in the painting. For example, the painting The Lonely Tree by Caspar David Friedrich shows a tree with contorted, barren limbs. Looking at the painting, we imagine our limbs in a similarly contorted and barren shape, evoking a feeling of strain and distress. Nonlinguistic metaphors may be the foundation of our experience of visual and musical art, as well as dance and other art forms.

In historical linguistics
In historical onomasiology or in historical linguistics, a metaphor is defined as a semantic change based on a similarity in form or function between the original concept and the target concept named by a word.

For example, mouse: small, gray rodent with a long tail → small, gray computer device with a long cord.

Some recent linguistic theories view all language in essence as metaphorical.

Historical theories
Friedrich Nietzsche makes metaphor the conceptual center of his early theory of society in On Truth and Lies in the Non-Moral Sense. Some sociologists have found his essay useful for thinking about metaphors used in society and for reflecting on their own use of metaphor. Sociologists of religion note the importance of metaphor in religious worldviews, and that it is impossible to think sociologically about religion without metaphor.