A while ago, I published an article with 51 similes to spark the imagination as part of my collection of posts on how to describe in writing. That not only was one of my most-visited collections but readers also contributed their lists of similes that are far richer than anything I’ve come up with.
Here’s one I just have to share–from Andy Oldham, over at Christian Grandfather. I’m going to post it exactly as his email shared them (I hope I’ve included all the important credits!). He has 133 ways to say ‘as dumb as’ that include not only similes and metaphors but creative ways to ‘show not tell’ that attribute:
Recently [well, that’s now over a decade ago], a Chicago lawyer told a judge he was “a few french fries short of a happy meal.” This launched a discussion on the LawMarketing Listerv of ways to say that someone was “dumb as a box of rocks” without being boring (you never want to bore a jury).
Trial lawyer Stephen Babcock of the Babcock Law Firm, LLC, in Baton Rouge, LA, contributed this awesome list of 133 metaphors:
- 12 shy of a dozen
- A bad spot on the disk.
- A couple of open splices.
- A few beers short of a six-pack.
- A few bricks shy of a load.
- A few cans short of a six pack.
- A loose chip on the micro processor.
- A quart low.
- About as sharp as a bowl of jello.
- About as sharp as a bowling ball.
- About as sharp as a sack of wet leather.
- About fifteen cents short.
- About three cents short of a dollar.
- All booster – no payload.
- All crown – no filling.
- All the lights don’t shine in his marquis
- As thick as two short planks.
- Attic’s a little dusty.
- Back burners not fully operating.
- Been playing with his wand too much.
For the entire list, click on Larry Bodine’s Law Marketing Blog.
–published first on Today’s Author
More descriptions for writers:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2021.