Wall Street Bailout Metaphor Watch: From Bazookas in the Pocket to Mythical Sea Monsters

Talking Points Memo strings together the metaphors used in Senate committee hearings related to the Wall Street bailout:

My favorite:

  • Scylla and Charybdis (Mythical sea monsters that inhabit the strait between Sicily and Italy. If, as a sailor, you get too close to one coast or the other, you run into trouble with one of them. Using Scylla and Charybdis as a unitary metaphor is akin to saying that you are passing through treacherous waters, as in sailing “between a rock and a hard place.”)

Other metaphorical references used in the hearings today:

  • Thor
  • rubber stamping
  • scavenging vultures
  • done on the fly
  • chickens feeding
  • chickens coming home to roost
  • flying by the seat of the pants
  • cavalry without direction
  • ammunition from taxpayers’ arsenal
  • fire
  • tools we need
  • water on an electrical fire
  • musical chairs
  • bubble
  • arteries clogged
  • hurricane
  • tsunami
  • uncharted waters
  • hungry birds
  • bazooka in the pocket
  • bailout v. rescue

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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