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Memory Alpha
Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
"And enough with the metaphors, all right? That's an order."

A metaphor was a specific term, phrase, or often idiom, that used to make a comparison between two common things that were not alike. These types of comparisons were often tools used to create an analogy. The Tamarian language was based on metaphors. (TNG: "Darmok")

Discussing the interruption in the USS Enterprise sensors caused by the red bursts detected in 2257, Commander Michael Burnham described the interruption as "like a compass at the north pole." Evan Connolly indicated he found the "metaphor" simplistic, though Burnham corrected him that her statement was more accurately described as a simile. Captain Christopher Pike admired her correction, noting: "He said you were smart." (DIS: "Brother")

William T. Riker referred to the Earth nursery rhyme, "What Are Little Boys Made Of?", which stated: "Girls are made from sugar and spice, boys are made from snips and snails... and puppy dog tails," to describe the "old-fashioned way of looking at the sexes" to the androgynous Soren. He later clarified that "physically, men are bigger, stronger" and that they "have different sexual organs." He also noted that "men can't bear young." (TNG: "The Outcast")

Upon his retirement from being the Grand Nagus, Zek appointed Rom to be his successor, explaining the role metaphorically as "It's a great responsibility to stand at the bow of the Ferengi ship of state. A Nagus has to navigate the waters of the Great Material Continuum, avoid the shoals of bankruptcy and seek the strong winds of prosperity." (DS9: "The Dogs of War")


"A mother hen"
"A princess in a very high tower."
This might be a metaphor referring to the Earth fairy tale Rapunzel.
"A stitch in time saves nine"
"A trail of bread crumbs" / "(A) trail of energy crumbs"
"A trail of broken hearts"
"A walking calculator"
"A walking database"
"A walking medical encyclopedia"
"A walking powder keg"
"A walking tin can with circuits for intestines"
"A walking pile of circuitry and memory cells"
"Achilles' heel"

Any single and potentially devastating vulnerability in an otherwise invincible enemy.

  • Later that year, Q was delighted to discover Picard's Achilles heel; the Human emotion of love. He told Picard that if he'd known about this vulnerability which Vash had managed to unearth, he'd have appeared to the captain as a female instead. (TNG: "Qpid")
In the novelization of What You Leave Behind, Commander Kira Nerys calls the cargo bay doors of Dominion Headquarters the Dominion's "Achilles hell." Although she is corrected by Elim Garak, she is sure her pronunciation is correct.
"(Someone is) all thumbs"
"(A) battle of wits"
"Battle of the sexes"
"Beat the hell out of (someone)" / "Kick the hell out of (someone)"
"Beat the tar out of (someone)"
"Break (someones) heart" (TOS
"Who Mourns for Adonais?"; TNG: "The Last Outpost");

"Broke(n) (someones) heart" (TNG: "Haven", "The Hunted", "Brothers"; DS9: "The Muse", "A Simple Investigation", "Ferengi Love Songs"; VOY: "The Q and the Grey", "The Disease", "Fair Haven", "Inside Man")

"Cabin fever"
"(The) cat's out of the bag"
"Character assassination"
"Chicken and the egg"

The "chicken and the egg" was a paradox, usually posed as the question, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

"Cold feet"
"Friendly vessel"
"I burn [...]. My eyes are flame. My heart is flame."
"I dream of a galaxy where your eyes are stars and the universe worships the night."
"If you're going to ride in the Kentucky Derby, you don't leave your prized stallion in the stable."
  • Said to be used where Leonard McCoy was from, however, Spock found it to be "a curious metaphor, doctor, as a stallion must first be broken before it can reach its potential." (Star Trek)

"In a nutshell" (VOY: "Unforgettable", "One", "Drone")

"Life is an endless stream of choices"
"Life is but a dream"
"Moral compass"
"(The) mouth of that chasm."
"(The) mouth of the cave."
"(The) mouth of the wormhole."
"Music to my ears"
"My ears are better than the average dog's."
"My eyes are as mysterious as the stars."
"My love is a fever, longing still for that which longer nurseth the disease."
"My mind is floating between two places.
"Nerves of steel"
"Never judge a fruit by its skin"
"(Eating out of) / (in the) palm of her hand(s)."
"Put out to pasture."
  • A phrase used in Starfleet to describe a very senior officer who no longer had a real purpose or the ability to command. As such, "being put out to pasture" usually implied be given a meaningless assignment to finish one's tenure. James T. Kirk observed this with General Korrd on Nimbus III, and hoped that when Kirk was put out to pasture he fared better than Koord. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
"Saber rattling" (VOY
"Body and Soul"; "Rattle his saber" (DS9: "Broken Link")
"(A) savage thrust into the very heart of the Dominion."
"Shell of a man"
  • Following the accident that claimed the independence of Christopher Pike, James T. Kirk described his current condition to being that of "a shell of a man", who was unable to speak or move. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part II")
"Shell of flesh"
"Snake oil salesman"
"Smoking gun"
"The smell of hatred, the stench of jealousy permeates you."
"Time is the fire in which we burn"
"Time is running out"
"What burns in their eyes, fires my soul."
"Ying and yang"
  • "It's the medicinal ying to the shield's yang." (VOY: "Inside Man")
"You are my anchor"
"You are my eyes and my ears"
"Your hair is looking particularly silky tonight."

See also

External link