Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Rindahl is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    3

    special term for "lie like a rug"

    Is there a special term to describe idioms such as "lie like a rug"? This is a cliche that employs a double meaning for "lie" and the "like a rug" has nothing to do with "you lie".

    A similar, but more complex example, may be "time flies like a banana".
    Last edited by Rindahl; 29-Mar-2008 at 17:47. Reason: added a comma

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    19,397

    Re: special term for "lie like a rug"

    Welcome to the forums.

    It is not quite clear what you are after, but possibly you are looking for the term "trope" = a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is used in other than a literal manner.

  3. #3
    Rindahl is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    3

    Re: special term for "lie like a rug"

    Thank you, Anglika. Truth to tell, I'm not sure what I'm looking for; the question didn't originate with me. I'm not sure 'trope' would fit because 'lie' is used in a literal sense -- two literal senses -- but the uses are not logically related to each other.

    This is a fairly common construction in English and, when the question was presented to me, I thought there must be an answer. Perhaps there isn't.

  4. #4
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,931

    Re: special term for "lie like a rug"

    It's a play on words. Rugs lie (lay) on the floor.

    So it's a way to say that person is like a rug (in that it "lies")

  5. #5
    Rindahl is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    3

    Re: special term for "lie like a rug"

    Actually, rugs don't lay, they lie. I understand what a pun is. In this case, we have two words which are homophones (and also happen to be homographs, but that isn't really important) that join two phrases that have no logical connection.
    you lie / lie like a rug
    How does a rug lie? It lies flat. This is logically unrelated to someone who tells lies. So I was trying to find out if there is a specific term for this kind of construction.

    But thanks for your reply.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •