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    #1

    Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    Hi,
    I'm writting thesis on metaphors in English connected with clothing.
    I've just got stuck and I'm looking for some inspiration. I would be delighted if someone could help me or inspire me with some observations.
    I look for words or pieces of clothing which are used to describe people or some items, also metonymic expressions.
    I look for expressions in which boundaries between the domains of HUMAN BEINGS and CLOTHES become very fuzzy.
    I found some examples in English like for example 'white-collar worker' or 'skirt; with reference to an attractive woman.
    I think that that would be easier for an native speaker to find more such expressions with refference to people.

    It's quite urgent, thank you for any ideas.

    Karol

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    #2

    Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    In modern slang we have "suit" for a resented boss. Then there is "stuffed shirt". somewhat older. Most important of all, I think, are "white collar" and "blue collar", which embody the difference between clerical, administrative and managerial jobs on the one hand, and skilled or labouring jobs on the other.

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    #3

    Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    A well-heeled person is rich.
    Some people are all fur coat and no knickers.

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    #4

    Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg


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    #5

    Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    I would look for corpus phrases with 'hat' and 'boots' and 'shoes' and so on to start.

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    #6

    Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    You could start by searching our own list of idioms; there are 7 hits for sleeve, for example. And an idiom can be the root of a newly-coined metaphor.

    b

    PS You could search there for dozens of clothing-related terms.
    Last edited by BobK; 18-Apr-2013 at 16:23. Reason: Added PS

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    #7

    Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg


  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    As a demonstration of how random this can be, I've just spotted an actual metaphor in the wild (on The 4 O'Clock Show on BBC Radio4 Extra: the presenter referred to another programme (called Country File, I think) as 'muddy-trousered'. This ISN'T idiomatic, but it was easy to understand.

    b

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    #9

    Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    Thank you for your answers ... I like well-hilled expression. I think I can treat it as a kind of orientational metaphor. And also suit.

    I've got also a problem with sources. Comprehensive and reliable... I look for word histories, etymologies etc. D

    I've just come across old bag... I like it but I can not find the word etymology or origin in connection with an old woman. But I'm afraid that it has nothing in common with bag as a piece of clothing.

    If any ideas, please share :)

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    #10

    Re: Clothing as a source of metaphor in the English lg

    I guess it's because old bags have creases like wrinkles. It's been used in BrE all my life, while bag lady ​is more recent.

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