The Metaphor Map of English shows the metaphorical links which have been identified between different areas of meaning over the entire history of the English language. To return to the main MetaphorIC menu at any time tap the ‘Home’ button on the top left of the screen.

Browse metaphors
To ‘Browse metaphors’ select from the three main categories: the External World, the Mental World and the Social World. You can browse the next levels in the hierarchy by tapping on your desired options until you arrive at a table showing the metaphorical connections to and from that category.

Search metaphors
To ‘Search metaphors’ enter a word. Results will show categories with matching descriptors and matching examples of metaphor. Select the category you want to find out more about. You can make a wildcard search (by tapping ‘Add *’ or typing * at the beginning or end of your search term, where * stands for any number of characters).
For more detailed instructions on how to use the Metaphor Map go to:

Visualise metaphors
From here you can explore a visualisation of the metaphorical connections in English. The circle represents every meaning in English, and this is divided into different areas of meaning (e.g. 1B Life, 2D Emotion).
  • Tap on one of the meanings around the outside of the circle then tap ‘Show [x] categories’ at the top of the screen to see more detailed categories (e.g. 17 different categories of 2D Emotion).
  • Tap on any of these categories to highlight its metaphorical connections with other areas of English (e.g. tap ‘2D07 Anger’).
  • At the top of the screen, tap ‘Centre on: [your category]’ to see all connections to and from that category.
  • Tap on any of the highlighted, yellow lines to see a metaphor card that gives details of each metaphorical connection. If you are connected to the internet, you can click on the individual words in ‘Examples of metaphor’ to connect to the online Historical Thesaurus of English.
Tips for looking at the data
The info-bar at the top of the screen contains all the tools you need for exploring the connections in different ways:
  • Metaphor Strength: The default setting is ‘Strong’, which shows only the very clear metaphorical links between categories. To see the weaker links tap ‘Weak’, and for all links to/from a category tap ‘Both’.
  • Change view: This allows you to look at the same category in different ways, by tapping on the relevant option: in the Metaphor Map visualisation (visualisation view); as a table (tabular view); as detailed metaphor cards (card view); as a timeline showing when we have our earliest evidence for each link (timeline view).
  • History: Allows you to see which pages you have looked at already and return to them.
  • Key: Tapping this reveals a box which tells you what the colours, etc. represent in each diagram.
  • ‘i’: The info-button beside category names or codes can be tapped on to find out more about what is contained within that category (‘Category descriptors’).