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Jul 5, 2021
This week’s theme
Words used metaphorically

This week’s words
papier-mache
sough
woolgathering
scabby
flagship

papier-mache
Previous week’s theme
Words with many meanings
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Ever metaphor? You do meet them every day, whenever you speak, read, or write. A language is a giant shoebox of metaphors. This box has lead balloons, loose cannons, dirty linen, and more. Help yourself to whatever you like. Yes, you can even cherry-pick.

Some language metaphors are obvious, but many others aren’t. Did you know that a muscle is, literally speaking, a little mouse? That’s because someone thought the movement of a muscle, such as the biceps, resembled a mouse scurrying around.

This week we’ll feature words that are often used metaphorically.

MIXED METAPHOR CONTEST:
Usually, I’d not recommend mixing metaphors, but with a special arrangement with the language directorate we have secured a literary license to share with you. Go ahead, mix things up! It’s valid for a limited time only, so go nuts!

What mixed metaphors can you come up with using one or more words featured this week? The mixier the better!

HOW TO ENTER:
1. Share them below or email us at words@wordsmith.org.
2. Include your location (city, state).
3. Send them by Fri.
Original entries only, not something you read elsewhere.

PRIZES:
Selected entries will receive a signed copy of any of my books or a copy of the game One Up!

To get you started, here’s a mixed metaphor I came up with:
“You used papier-mache to create this village?” Prince Grigory chewed out his underlings. “Why not something sturdier like cardboard?”

Let a thousand mixed metaphors breed and spread the light!

papier-mache

PRONUNCIATION:
(pay-puhr muh-SHAY)

MEANING:
noun:A mixture of pulped paper, glue, etc., used in making sculptures, boxes, ornaments, etc.
adjective:1. Made of papier-mache.
 2. Fragile; temporary; false; illusory.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French papier-mâché (chewed paper). Earliest documented use: 1753.

USAGE:
“It will be more capable, respected, and durable than the papier-mache facade of power ... in Brussels.”
Walter Russell Mead; Europe for Realists; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Oct 1, 2016.

See more usage examples of papier-mache in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like? -Jean Cocteau, author and painter (5 Jul 1889-1963)

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