metalepsis
Definition - A figure of speech where you refer to something by referencing another figure of speech.

Example -
He dove deep into the wine dark.
(The indirect reference is to Homer's epithet the wine dark sea.)

Etymology -
The word derives from the Greek meta, change + lambanein, to take; thus it literally means "to change the sense."

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first OED citation is from 1586:
"Metalepsis, or Transumptio, when by a certaine number of degrees we goe beyond that we intend in troth, and haue meaning to speake of, as to say Accursed soyle that bred my cause of woe.'
(A. Day Eng. Secretary ii. (1625) 79)

Quotation -
"A rhetorical figure mentioned by Quintilian, consisting in the metonymical substitution of one word for another which is itself figurative."
(Source: Oxford English Dictionary s.v. metalepsis)



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