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Antonomasia

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Antonomasia

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Antonomasia is the naming of a person not with their given name but another name of some form.

Example

Easy, tiger!

Hello, Bruce. (There is some mysteriously humorous about Australians and the name Bruce)

Excuse me Tarzan, could you please come down from that tree.

Discussion

What is in a name? A great deal, actually. Every word is a little package of meaning, and when we take a word and attach it to a person, then all the meaning of the word is transferred to the person. In the manner of the metaphor, connection of two things creates a powerful new meaning.

Thus, for example, when you name a person as an animal, then they gain qualities of the animal. When you name them as a famous person, they gain the attributes of that person. Context counts! Calling a person Tiger on the golf course is very different to using that name in the bedroom.

In usng antonomasia, there is an element of hypocatastasis, where an implied

Classification: Substitution

See also

Their name, Identity, Metaphor

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