Literary Term of the Day: Simile

A true Valley Girl’s literary term, a simile uses the words “like” or “as” to describe two similar things. For example, Santa Claus’ rotund middle during big belly laughs has long been described as shaking “like a bowl full of jelly”. A demur woman is typically described as “quiet as a mouse”.

Fun fact: simile means “like” in Latin and “similar” in Italian.

Over the decades, similes have been used in colloquial speech and well-known phrases. “It’s as cold as a witch’s titty in a brass bra” is a Southern favorite, and “I’ll beat you like Chris Brown beat Rhianna” made its rounds a few years back. Similes bring a reader to the proper frame of mind by providing a direct correlation to a situation that the writer knows is more relatable.

“Her eyes were a dull green like the skin of a pale toad who stayed under damp logs and only came out to slurp the creepy crawly insects at night.”

Similes provide feelings and exposure to the world that the writer sees. Really good similes can invoke tangible reactions of the reader. I bet you don’t want to kiss the lips of the girl with the pale green eyes now.

Can you come up with a good simile? This one is easier than a limerick, I promise.

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