10th August 2020




DATE: 12th July, 2020


SUBJECT: Literature

TOPIC: Figures of Speech



Brief explanation

Notes for the pupils

A figure of speech is a word or phrase that possesses a separate meaning from its literal definition. It is usually intended to heighten a dramatic effect.

Figures of speech – Listed below from 1 to 10 are some figures of speech.

  1. Simile: A simile is a figure of speech that compares two objects or situations that are similar with the use of “like” and “as”.


(a) And then lies yam! Like a giant wrestler with legs.

(b) Curses are like chickens: they come home to roost.

(c) Her cheeks appear as the dawn of day.

(d) His blue shirt blows in the breeze like a tattered kite.

  1. Metaphor: This is a figure of speech that also deals with comparison, metaphor compares two contrasting ideas, the resemblance is implied and not formally expressed.


(a) The general who is a lion in the field has seen many wars.

(b) He is not good at cricket; he has okra fingers.

  1. Irony: Language is employed to give an impression to that which results from a literal interpretation. It is the reverse of meaning.


(a) Charles is so brilliant that he passed one subject out of his nine papers.

(b) The leader enjoyed the reputation of being the wisest fool in Christendom.

  1. Euphemism: This is a figure of speech in which hash and unpleasant events are presented in a pleasant way.


(a) We discovered it was a fairy tale.

(b) He passed on his bed this morning.

(c) The young girl was put in the family way.

(d) She used to be a lady of easy virtue.


  1. Metonymy: Metonymy is the representation of one thing by something closely associated with it.


(a) Sceptre and crown shall tremble down.

(b) The crown is supreme.

(a) The pulpit should be very careful of what they do, so that they should not lead the pew astray.

  1. Synecdoche: This is the use of a part to represent a whole or a whole can be used to represent a part.


(a) All hands on deck.

(b) The country grows more prosperous every year.

(c) She controls all the heads in the village.

(d) Thousands of eyes gazed on him at the occasion.

  1. Oxymoron: Oxymoron is the placing side by side two seemingly contradictory words.


(a) King’s too tamed are cold fire.

(b) To some, women are necessary evil.

(c) What a sick health.

(d) There are many traitor friends around.

  1. Antonomasia: This is a special form of figure of speech in which the name of a well-known person, place or event is used to represent some quality.


(a) She is the Jezebel of our time.

(b) Rome may be another Sodom and Gomorrah

(c) Her home is now a Golgotha.

  1. Apostrophe: In apostrophe, an inanimate object or objects, which may not be seen physically, are being addressed as if they understand the message uttered or as if personally present.


(a) Sweet autumn! Loviest village of pain.

(b) Ye gods, ye gods, must I endure this?

(c) Treachery! Thou are woman.

(d) Oh grave where is thy sting.

  1. Pun: This is a figure of speech which has two meanings in spite of the similar sound in it. It is an act of playing on words.


(a) Your money is save in a safe.

(b) Is poor live deserve living? That depends on the liver.

(c) You have dancing shoes with nimble soles: while I have a soul of lead.



Write (5) five figures of speech outside the ones you have been taught giving three (3) examples of each.