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Metaphors and Analogies In Neurology: From Kerplunk to Dripping Taps
  1. Geraint Fuller*,
  2. Tom Hughes
  1. *Department of Neurology, Gloucester Royal Hospital, Gloucester, UK, email: Geraint{at};
  2. University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, email: Tom.Hughes{at}


Although we use metaphors and analogies in everyday speech all the time, I for one sometimes forget the definitions. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a name, descriptive term or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is imaginatively but not literally applicable. For example: revising for exams at the last minute seems to be ‘sailing very close to the wind’; we ‘get to grips with’ learning neurology; it’s raining ‘cats and dogs’ and so on. An analogy is another figure of speech, which uses correspondence or partial similarity to illustrate an idea, feeling or experience; for example, ‘your face has gone as red as a beetroot’, I feel ‘just like I am on the deck of a boat in a heavy sea’.


A picture is said to be worth a thousand words (one kiloword!). Metaphors and analogies are pictures painted in

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