Showing posts from April, 2021

Speaking better English - Merisms

Dictionaries define a merism as a reference to something by its polar extremes, as in "we searched high and low" For example  I searched high and low for the key.  A  Merism  is a figure of speech by which something is referred to by a phrase that described the whole something by counting all its parts. Here are just a few Merisms He fell for the plot hook, line and sinker. This is from fishing. All the parts of a fishing setup. He sold the business lock, stock and barrel. This merism comes from the anatomy of a gun, the lock the bit that did the firing, the stock the part held, and the barrel. So, the phrase is about the whole being the sum of its parts. Other phrases include: nook and cranny day and night male and female better or for worse richer for poorer ladies and gentlemen young and old flesh and bone sun sea and sand life and soul Two items are often compared to represent the whole The last will and testament - 2 documents in two different courts that applied to the