special term for "lie like a rug"

Status
Not open for further replies.

Rindahl

New member
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
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:

Anglika

No Longer With Us
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Member Type
Other
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.
 

Rindahl

New member
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
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.
 

susiedqq

Key Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
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")
 

Rindahl

New member
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
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.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top