1 jun. 2008

Is there a name for the kind of metonymy which designates its referent with a doubled construction?

of the type--

flesh and blood (carne y hueso) = the body in its physical presence

milk and honey = abundant alimentary resources

brick and mortar = as opposed to a store with only an electronic presence

rivers and mountains = i.e. all of nature, in Chinese poetry

hammer and sickle, slings and arrows, etc...

There ought to be a name for this if there is not. These are the only examples I can think of right now, but there are many more I'm sure. Give me your examples and or the actual name for this phenomena in the comments. This will also show me if anyone's reading the blog in the summer.

13 comentarios:

K. Silem Mohammad dijo...

I don't know if there's a name for it, but if there isn't, I propose "the ol' metonymic two-step."

More examples:

bread and circuses
bells and whistles
cakes and ale
shits and giggles

John dijo...

Hammer and tong.

Jay dijo...

Fred and Ginger.

Jonathan dijo...

What's "Fred and Ginger" a metonymy for?

Mike Hauser dijo...

sugar & spice (& everything nice)

cock & balls (sorry)

hot & ready (from lil caesers menu)

spit & vinegar

siskel & ebert

Matt dijo...

tooth and nail.

People like to have two words to beef up the expression, I guess. Sometimes people use outright synonyms--at the airport, you'll hear "This is the last and final boarding call"--just for emphasis.

Jonathan dijo...

It's not just two words linked together, but two words that are a metonymy. Siskel and Ebert doesn't qualify. Neither does "hot and ready." Those are just two adjectives.

There are also threebie metnonmies like

blood, sweat, and tears

wine, women, and song

I am surprised there is no name for this phenomenon.

michael dijo...



Jonathan dijo...

No. It's not hendiadys. I already thought of that. Hendiadys is placing two items that should be subordinate in parallel fashion, "the substitution of a conjunction for a subordination". like "nice and easy" for "nicely easy." In my cases there is no logical subordination between the two nouns.

John dijo...

I thought "Fred and Ginger" was a joke. "Siskel & Ebert" too.

Ebert and Roeper are no joke.

Jonathan, if you were to propose a name for this rhetorical figure, and give it Latin roots, I bet rhetoricians would accept it.

Blood and soil.

Name, rank, and serial number.


John dijo...

Tom, Dick, and Harry.

If you don't get to it, I'm going to dig for some Latin roots meaning "two-headed metonymy," or some such.

Or maybe it should just be "Mayhew's figure."


John dijo...

Stars and stripes.

Tits & ass. (Perhaps not metonymic in most uses.)

Sturm and drang.

Flesh & blood.

Muscle & blood.

Jonathan dijo...

KSM writes:

Hi Jonathan,

For some reason Blogger won't let me leave a comment, so here's what I wrote:

One might (if one is geeky enough) also want to distinguish between two-headed metonymy and two-headed synecdoche. "Stars and stripes" would be an example of the latter, in which a whole (the flag) is reduced to its most conspicuous parts. In fact, this might be the category in which "flesh and blood" and like expressions belong as well, though it gets a little blurry there. The line between metonymy and synecdoche is thin anyway, but in general it should be possible to make a case for dyads like "milk and honey" as being more on the metonymic end of the scale, since milk and honey are not so much instantly recognizable parts of a whole made up of "abundant alimentary resources, as they are examples from among many possible examples. Yes, in one sense any example is a part of a whole--that whole being the set of all examples of itself--but broadly speaking the principle behind synecdoche is reduction or fragmentation whereas the principle behind metonymy is association or contiguity.