"My refrigerator is as much in the dark as I am": Metaphorical irony in context

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This paper focuses on a particular type of metaphorical irony in which both readings of a metaphor have to be processed in order to grasp the speaker's intention. Two ways in which the text encourages retention of both readings of metaphorical expressions are discussed: (1) Metaphorical expressions that refer to two different referents, whose comparison by the author requires keeping both readings in mind; (2) Two kinds of contextual clues assigned to a single referent or topic. The examples are amusingly sophisticated, but at the same time express a critical stance on controversial issues. The metaphorical irony enhances the critical, evaluative aspect of the text as it contributes to its entertaining effect.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Discourse of Indirectness. Cues, voices and functions
EditorsZohar Livnat, Pnina Shukrun-Nagar, Galia Hirsch
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789027260567
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePragmatics and Beyond New Series
ISSN (Print)0922-842X

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Benjamins Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


  • Figurative language
  • Grice
  • Implicature
  • Literal meaning
  • Metaphorical irony
  • Relevance Theory
  • Retention/Suppression Hypothesis


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