Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
"Haven't you noticed how easily I handle Human speech? I use their contractions. For example, I say can't or isn't, and you say cannot or is not. "I say tomato, you say tomahto. I say potato, you say potahto." A very old joke. But then you also have trouble with their humor. Am I right?"
– Lore, 2364 ("Datalore")
"Mister Spock, do you consider Captain Kirk and yourself brothers?"
"Captain Kirk speaks somewhat figuratively and with undue emotion. However, what he says is logical and I do, in fact, agree with it."

A figure of speech was a word or phrase or other form of expression used to convey meaning or heighten effects by comparing or identifying one thing with another that had a meaning familiar to someone else. Certain figures of speech may differ significantly from the literal meaning of the words involved; a way to express intricate and culturally-sensitive statements. Euphemisms covered a broad array of figures of speech; as did colorful metaphors, which might be used to express emotion. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

The most common types of figures of speech were comparisons, which consisted primarily of metaphors and similes.

In 2364, Beata apologized for referring to men in their society as belonging to the women after William T. Riker told her men were not objects one could own. (TNG: "Angel One")

In 2372, The Doctor explained his use of the word "our" to describe Samantha Wildman and Greskrendtregk's newborn baby Naomi Wildman, saying it was a figure of speech to technically ascribe part ownership of the child to himself, seeing as he helped deliver her. (VOY: "Deadlock")

This article or section is incomplete This page is marked as lacking essential detail, and needs attention. Information regarding expansion requirements may be found on the article's talk page. Feel free to edit this page to assist with this expansion.

Other figures of speech


A merism was the combination of words used to refer to an entirety of a subject, often given as an expression.

"Back and forth"
"Beck and call"
"Black and white"
"Cat and mouse"
"Here and there"
"Hide and seek"
"High and low"
"Hook, line, and sinker"
"Ladies and gentlemen"
"Ladies and gentlemen, and all androgynous creatures"
"Ladies and gentlemen, and invited transgendered species"
"Lock, stock, and barrel"
"Now and again"
"Now and then"
"Rock and roll"
"To and fro"
"Trial and error"
"Ups and downs"


A metonym was a type of metaphor, that rather than drawing a similarity between two things, drew contiguity (direct contact) between two things.


In terms of "to share a bed" with someone for sexual purposes. (DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire", "You Are Cordially Invited", "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night", "Covenant", "Strange Bedfellows", "When It Rains...", "What You Leave Behind")


In terms of "fine china", a type of porcelain dishware originating from China. (VOY: "Real Life")


To give full attention to something.


As in a hired gun. (TNG: "The Price")


To offer help, as in "to give someone a hand."


A city in Texas on Earth that was used to refer to NASA's Mission Control Center. (VOY: "One Small Step")

"New blood"

When used in context, a term to describe an alcoholic beverage that was often served in a pint-sized glass.


Hard work (TOS: "A Piece of the Action"; TNG: "The Ensigns of Command"; VOY: "The Killing Game", "Demon")


A language or dialect. (TNG: "Contagion"; DS9: "If Wishes Were Horses"; VOY: "Dragon's Teeth")


When used in context, a reference the United States government, which was located in Washington, DC. (ENT: "Storm Front"; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; VOY: "The 37's")



Background information

According to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. ?), DS9 is often referred to as the black sheep of the Star Trek family for a variety of reasons, chiefly the stark contrast in setting (a space station as opposed to a starship) and rich plot development (as opposed to self-contained episodes, cf. alien of the week).

Several episode titles are based on various figures of speech and sayings:

External links