A Little S&M – A Figurative Language Quiz

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In today’s exercise, you will practice what you’ve learned about the finer points of figurative language by taking a simple (and occasionally sexy) quiz. By the end, you should feel comfortable differentiating metaphors from other types of figurative language, including simile, hyperbole, literal descriptions, and euphemisms.

The S and M (+E,H, and L) Quiz

In this section you will receive a single description followed by several different sets of details on what this description may be referring to. In each case, you will identify what the description would be in that situation (with the options being metaphor, simile, euphemism, hyperbole, and literal description).

She tied me up.

1. If this is referring to a situation where the she has made you sufficiently busy that you were unable to leave, this would be a:

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

2. If this is referring to a situation where she used rope to bind you to the radiator, this would be a:

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

3. If this is referring to a situation where she used sewing thread to loosely string your thumbs together, this would be a:

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

I’m going to go drop my kids off at the pool.

4. If this is referring to a person needing to take their children to the local swimming pool, this is a:

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

5. If this is referring to a person needing to have a bowel movement, this is a:

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

He’s a demon between the sheets.

6. If this is referring to his sexual prowess, this is a:

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

7. If he has been cursed and transforms into a demon whenever he’s in bed, this would be a:

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

“I’m going to have to let you go,” said Frank’s boss.

8. If Frank is being fired, this would be a:

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

Your hair is like spun gold.

9. If this is a description of a blonde person’s hair, this would be a:

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description 

I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.

10. If this person is very hungry, their description would be a:

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description 


In this section, you will receive several different description of a single situation. Identify each description using the metaphor, simile, euphemism, hyperbole, and literal description options.

Identify the following descriptions of green eyes.

11. Her eyes were the color of moss.

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description 

12. His eyes were jade.

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description 

13. Her eyes seemed to be grassy fields.

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

Identify the following descriptions of a headache.

14. It’s like someone is jamming nails into my temples.

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

15. My entire skull is on fire.

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description 

16. It hurts so bad I’m going to die.

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

Identify the following descriptions of having sex.

17. We were knocking boots.

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description 

18. Our bed became a maelstrom of holy fire.

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

19. It’s like we became animals driven only by passion and desire.

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

Identify the following description of being insulted.

20. His words cut into me.

a) Metaphor
b) Simile
c) Euphemism
d) Hyperbole
e) Literal Description

Now take a moment to review your answers. Once you are ready, use the key at the bottom of this document to check your work.

As you can likely tell, many of these definitions run in close parallel, and many things we think of us ordinary description (such as definitions running in parallel) are actually metaphorical.

P.S. Any educators or community leaders interested in using this quiz in a group setting may do so. We simply ask that you give credit to the Creative Writing Guild and invite people to refer to the site (CWGuild.com) for more materials.

Key: 1: a, 2: e, 3: d, 4:e, 5:c, 6: a, 7: e, 8:c, 9:b, 10:d, 11:e, 12:a, 13:b, 14:b, 15:a, 16:d, 17: c, 18:a, 19:b, 20:a

This Week’s Book Recommendation

The book we’d like to recommend to you today is I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like, which offers a compilation of the best metaphors, similes, and other figurative descriptions found throughout history. It also provides some further discussion of figurative language on the whole. If you’re looking for an amusing and instructive read, this is the book you’re looking for.

Check out this book and help support the Guild at the same time by buying on Amazon or Audible:

Buy on Amazon