On Metonymy


How common is metonymy?

A general definition to start with:

A metonym is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_metonyms


Visual Metonymy

An excellent introduction to visual metonymy in film Metonymy and Synecdoche in Legally Blonde. NSFW. "The shot list calls for the constant breaking of the women down in to digestible parts when they are focused on Warner. This is important because, to a man like that character, taken as a whole, what are we ladies? Too much to chew on, it seems."


Visual

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Silk Cut cigarettes


Two common uses: a kiss as possession


To give a kiss is to show affection, identification, betrayal. In the phrases, it stands in for affection. A kiss is cast as a possession that the owner can give or have stolen. Each kiss is a separate entity. Rights of possession (giving, stealing, take, ask for) are associated with it.

Gesture

Associated with disdain, contempt. Usage is the finger (a particular finger), as distinct from a kiss. The gesture seems to be metonymically different than a kiss. The casts the gesture as a conventional iconic symbol.


Metonyms in Music Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sei-eEjy4g MIA Paper Planes

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkyCrx4DyMk

Clash, Straight to Hell on SNL
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