Similes are a useful way to make your English more descriptive. We use similes in English to describe something as being like another thing and we can do it with two different structures:
- as ______ as _______ (e.g. It is as cold as ice)
- like ________ (e.g. It is like ice)
Some English similes are logical. For example, ice is cold so it makes sense to compare something cold to ice. There are some English similes that aren’t so logical, though. Here are five examples you can easily learn online:
As cute as a button
This one sounds strange because buttons aren’t all that cute. However, they are small and in the past they were often decorated in an attractive way. In the past, the main meaning of ‘cute’ was ‘small and attractive’ so when you consider that, it makes more sense. Nowadays, we use the word ‘cute’ in some very different ways so it’s best to use this simile with the original meaning of cute. You could call your friend’s baby ‘as cute as a button’, but not a handsome guy that you might think is cute in a different way.
To sleep like a log
Logs don’t sleep — they don’t wake up either. They are very still, though. If you sleep like a log, you sleep very deeply without any restless movement.
As cool as a cucumber
Do you know anyone you think is really cool? Maybe a famous actor like George Clooney. If so, you could say they are ‘as cool as a cucumber’. It might seem strange to think of a cool person like a cucumber but there is actually a good reason. Because the inside of a cucumber is mostly water, it remains cool, even on hot days.
As mad as a box of frogs
You’d have to be mad to put frogs in a box so an unusual expression like this is a fun way to talk about someone who is rather eccentric.
As happy as Larry
If you are ‘as happy as Larry’ you are very, very happy. But who was Larry, and why was he so happy? There are a few stories about the origin of this expression but most people think it relates to the Australian boxer, Larry Foley; who never lost a fight and won £1000 (a lot of money when he was alive from 1847-1917) for his final fight. He had a good reason to be happy!
So, how about you? Are you as cute as a button or as cool as a cucumber? What makes you as happy as Larry and do you have any friends who are as mad as a box of frogs? Share your answers in the comments section below.
Learn more about English words and phrases on this article.