What Is A Simile?

Don't you just love funny similes and metaphors? A simile is a figure of speech that compares two things by using connecting words such as like, as or than. Similes are similar to metaphors in that they are both forms of comparison, but similes compare the two ideas whilst they remain separate, whereas a metaphor compare two things directly.

For example:

  • Simile: Simon was an Olympic sprinter and when he ran he was as fast as a rocket.
  • Metaphor: When Simon sprinted, he was a rocket around the circuit.

Similes can be implicit (e.g. "like a cat on a hot tin roof" - the reader can is left to imagine what this will be like), or explicit (e.g. "as dry as dust"), however, a simile can be anywhere along the scale.

Similes are used extensively in British comedy and have been for a long time. In comedy, the simile is often used in negative context, e.g. he was as daft as a brush, she was as big as a bus. They are also used in comedic context where a sensitive subject is broached, and the comedian will test his audience with response to a subtle implicit simile before going deeper. Check out our list of similes!