As lively as …

As lively as …

You can imagine the spark lighting up a prim Victorian drawing room, when the sexes are brought together within a confined space. ‘The ladies, since the gentlemen entered, have become lively as larks…’   Source: Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (London:...
As pale as …

As pale as …

Henry Williamson is a master of metaphor and simile, and his slim book Tarka the Otter is as densely scattered with them as a healthy meadow with flower seeds. ‘When the moon gleamed out of the clouds in the east, pale and wasted as a bird in snow, the...
As soft as …

As soft as …

Having never even noticed the buds of the willow, this simile for softness and greyness struck me. How observant of Williamson to store this away as a description of otter’s fur.  But then his whole book is an exercise in meticulous and painstaking observation...
As large as …

As large as …

An unusual simile for size, here referring to bubbles. Bubbles feature largely in Tarka the Otter, often blown by the otter himself as he swims beneath the water or as an expression of fear. ‘Near the bridge the bubbles rose as large as oak-apples.’  ...
Silent as …

Silent as …

Another richly original simile for silence, here attributed to the noiseless movement of a rolling mist. See another silent simile by Williamson, and a mist-related one in Jane Eyre. ‘Over the meadow a mist was moving, white and silent as the fringe of down on...
As noiselessly as …

As noiselessly as …

How many ways to describe quiet? This is one of the most original I have found, along with another describing the silent movement of mist itself and one conveying the lethal approach of an owl. ‘They then descended the staircase almost as noiselessly as a bright...
As big as …

As big as …

A vivid way to vaunt the vastness of vine-fruit. ‘The grapes seemed as big as twelve-year old boys.’   Source: Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation, trans. P.A. Bien (London: Faber and Faber, 1983), p. 502 Photo credit: Free-Photos at...
As vindictive as…

As vindictive as…

Apologies to all camels if this sullies your good character, but I liked the simile and had fun finding a photo of a camel who might be described as having a vindictive look. ‘… vindictive as a camel.’   Source: Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last...
Wrinkled like a raisin

Wrinkled like a raisin

It’s obvious when you read it, but we don’t tend to use ‘wrinkled like a raisin’ despite its pleasing alliteration. Let’s try to change that! ‘A tiny old man, slim, and wrinkled like a raisin, had stood up on tip-toe.’ For...

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