America: The Greatest Country Ever Stolen

Take Figurative Statements Literally: You’ll laugh your head off. (List Challenge)

I’m from Kentucky, where figurative language flows like “water off a ducks back”. I’ve said each of these figurative statements in conversation, but I’ve never thought about them literally. I “got a real kick” out of imagining these figurative statements literally. Read the list, and use your imagination. Enjoy!

You have a chip on your shoulder.
A picture paints a thousand words.
It costs a arm and a leg.
He’s as high as a kite.
We’re like to peas in a pod.
I chewed my boss out.
Her attitude drives me up the wall.
She packed everything but the kitchen sink.
She was walking like a bat out of hell.
I’m going out on a limb with this idea.
I have an axe to grind with you.
She’s rich and high on the hog.
I’m gonna hit the hay.
That idea hit the nail on the head.
Hold your horses.
That was the icing on the cake.
He kicked the bucket.
Lend me your ear.
She let the cat out of the bag.
He’s a loose cannon.
I got off the hook.
Over my dead body.
I’m just pulling your leg.
It’s raining cats and dogs.
You are a son of a gun.
This is the last straw.
I wear my heart on my sleeve.
I’ll do it when pigs fly.
You are what you eat.

Imagining cats and dogs raining from the sky, a man chewing on his bosses leg, a picture painting thousands of words, and a girl with a chip balanced on her shoulder was amusing for me. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. What was your favorite?

I illustrated some of my favorites with my dazzling ‘5th grade level’ art abilities.



Prompt: List Lesson |

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9 comments on “Take Figurative Statements Literally: You’ll laugh your head off. (List Challenge)

  1. Nira Jo Branham

    I have used them all. Oh,
    I’m just pulling your leg.

  2. I know, or at least believe, each of those saying have a story behind them, that in context made sense. I’ve heard some of them but don’t remember them anymore.

    Passive language can also be really funny if you take it literally. I enjoy visualizing the things people say.

    – the eggs are getting cold
    – did the mail come in yet
    – the wall hit me
    – things are falling into place
    – the cord tripped me

    • I visualized the ones you listed, they were pretty hilarious! “The eggs are getting cold” could be illustrated so many ways.

      • I took a course from Jean Clarke about responsible language in the 80’s. When I came back from that I paid so much more attention to mine and others words. My 7 year old daughter is the one who told me that the wall hit her. I inquired about how that had happened. Sometime later she said “I wish you had never had taken that course!” I think she appreciates it now that she is an adult.

      • I am a teacher and coach. So I always consider the meanings of things before I say them.
        I let my mind run wild with some of my analogies. I actually use most of them in common conversation; I say “madder than a wet hen” and “water off a duck’s back” a lot in social conversation… “Hit the nail on the head” and “hold your horses” are used often when I coach.

      • Fun! Makes for a lively conversation……

  3. Pingback: A Hope from our Long Lost Distant Relations | Wired With Words

  4. Pingback: River Garden | litadoolan

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