A good metaphor or simile breathes life into a sentence. It helps the reader’s mind make fresh correlations between smells, sounds, taste, touch.
A bad metaphor kills the sentence deader than a chainsaw murderer wielding a plastic chainsaw from Toys R Us. Get the idea?
Metaphor vs. Simile
Here’s a mini refresher course on the difference between a metaphor and a simile:
- Metaphor – a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money)
- Simile – Using like or as to compare two unlike things (as in cheeks like roses)
For detailed examples of the difference between metaphors and similes, visit our friends at Grammarly. You’ll also learn about the following types of metaphors:
- Implied metaphor
- Sustained metaphor
- Dead metaphor
- Mixed metaphor
Student Essay Examples
One of the best places to find funny figures of speech is in student-written essays. Here are some ‘winners’ from excerpts submitted by English teachers across the U.S. (vote for your favorites!)
- Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides
gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
- His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like
underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
- She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes
just before it throws up.
- She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was
room-temperature Canadian beef.
- He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
- McBride fell twelve stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag
filled with vegetable soup.
- Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
- The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry
them in hot grease.
- Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one
that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
- The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil,
this plan just might work.
- The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating
for a while.
- He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but
a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or
- The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg
behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
- The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because
of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a
formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
- It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with
- The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a
bowling ball wouldn’t.
- Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the
grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left
Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19
p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
- He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as
if she were a garbage truck backing up.
- Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
Which one made you laugh hardest?
Compose the most painful metaphor or simile you can. Share it in the Comments.