Is there a word for using a metaphor about the thing itself?

Well, is there?

On a business trip this week I caught an episode of The Office on TV and it reminded me of something Ricky Gervais said in his Animals stand-up show. He was reading from Genesis in the Bible and was commenting on how amazing some of the things that happened in the first few days of the Earth were – such as “and he said let there be light, and there was” etc – and suddenly came out with “It’s called the gospel, so it must be true” at which point everybody cracked up. Is there a word for using something that became a metaphor about its original thing?

Another good example is the spoof front cover of The Onion newspaper from 16 April 1912 about the sinking of the Titanic – ‘World’s Largest Metaphor Hits Iceberg‘. I love these – I think doing something like this is ingenious as it’s so obvious. Can anyone think of any more examples?

One Comment

  1. I’ve already told you this in person, but I feel this post deserves a comment.

    Just the other day I was preparing a couple of tasty hot-cross buns with a recently washed knife and I said to myself “it’s like a hot knife through butter”… he he… and it was. I was spreading butter with a hot knife.

    Reply

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