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List of Similes

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Similes of the form 'As X as Y' are commonplace in English - the list below contains about 200 of the better-known ones (...and it's spelled 'similes', not 'similies' - a very common misspelling). They are usually in the pattern 'as adjective as noun', where the adjective is a property that the noun is well-known as possessing. Examples of that form are 'as black as coal', 'as white as snow'. Occasionally, the simile just relies on rhyme, for example 'as drunk as a skunk'. Many also employ alliteration; many animals might be thought of as industrious but it was 'as busy as a bee' and 'as busy as a beaver' that got the nod when the 'busy' similes were coined.

List of Similes

As alike as two peas in a pod
As American as apple pie
As bald as a coot
As black as Newgate's knocker
As black as coal
As black as pitch

As black as the Earl of Hell's waistcoat
As black as the ace of spades
As black as thunder
As black as your hat
As blind as a bat
As blind as a mole
As bold as brass
As boring as a wet weekend in Wigan
As boring as watching paint dry
As brave as a lion
As bright as a button
As bright as a new pin
As broad as it is long
As brown as a berry
As busy as a beaver
As busy as a bee
As busy as a one-armed paper hanger
As busy as a one-legged arse kicker
As camp as a row of tents
As cheap as dirt
As clean as a whistle
As clear as a bell
As clear as crystal
As clear as day
As clear as mud
As cold as a well digger's arse
As cold as a witch's tit
As cold as any stone
As cold as blue blazes
As cold as charity
As cold as ice
As common as muck
As cool as a cucumber
As crazy as a loon
As crooked as a dog's hind leg
As cross as two sticks
As cunning as a fox
As cute as a bug's ear
As cute as a button
As daft as a brush
As dark as pitch
As dead as a dodo
As dead as a doornail
As dead as mutton
As deaf as a post
As deaf as a stone
As different as chalk and cheese
As difficult as nailing jelly to a tree
As drunk as a lord
As drunk as a skunk
As dry as a bone
As dry as a pommy's bath towel
As dull as ditchwater
As dumb as a box of rocks
As easy as ABC
As easy as falling off a log
As easy as pie
As easy as taking candy from a baby
As far as the eye can see
As fast as greased lightening
As fast as his legs could carry him
As fine as frog's hair
As fit as a butcher's dog
As fit as a fiddle
As flat as a pancake
As free as a bird
As fresh as a daisy
As fresh as a mountain stream
As full as a fat lady's sock
As full as an Alabama tick
As gentle as a lamb
As good as gold
As good as it gets
As good as new
As good as your word
As green as grass
As happy as a clam
As happy as a dog with two tails
As happy as a lark
As happy as a pig in shit
As happy as a sandboy
As happy as Larry
As hard as a rock
As hard as iron
As heavy as lead
As helpless as a baby
As high as a kite
As honest as the day is long
As hot as Hades
As hot as blue blazes
As hungry as a hunter
As Irish as Paddy's pig
As keen as mustard
As large as life
As light as a feather
As long as a month of Sundays
As long as my arm
As loose as a goose
As mad as a bear with a sore head
As mad as a hatter
As mad as a March hare
As mad as a wet hen
As many chins as a Chinese phone book
As merry as the day is long
As mild as milk
As miserable as sin
As naked as a jaybird
As near as dammit
As neat as a new pin
As nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs
As nervous as a whore in church
As nice as ninepence
As nutty as a fruit cake
As old as Methuselah
As old as the hills
As patient as Job
As pissed as a newt
As pissed as a rat
As plain as a pikestaff
As plain as day
As plain as the nose on your face
As playful as a kitten
As pleased as Punch
As poor as a church mouse
As pretty as a picture
As proud as Punch
As proud as a peacock
As pure as the driven slush
As pure as the driven snow
As queer as a chocolate orange
As queer as a nine bob note
As queer as folk
As quick as a flash
As quiet as a mouse
As rare as hens' teeth
As rare as rocking horse shit
As red as a beetroot
As regular as clockwork
As right as ninepence
As right as rain
As safe as houses
As safe as the Bank of England
As scarce as hen's teeth
As sharp as a tack
As sick as a dog
As sick as a parrot
As silent as the grave
As skinny as a rake
As slippery as an eel
As slow as molasses in January
As sly as a fox
As small as the hairs on a gnat's bollock
As smooth as a baby's bottom
As smooth as silk
As snug as a bug in a rug
As sober as a judge
As solid as a rock
As sound as a bell
As stiff as a poker
As straight as a die
As straight as an arrow
As strong as an ox
As stubborn as a mule
As sure as God made little green apples
As sure as eggs is eggs
As sweet as a nut
As sweet as pie
As thick as thieves
As thick as two short planks
As thin as a rail
As thin as a rake
As tight as Dick's hatband
As tight as a drum
As tight as a duck's arse
As tough as old boots
As true as the day is long
As ugly as sin
As useless as a chocolate fireguard
As useless as a chocolate teapot
As useless as tits on a boar
As warm as toast
As weak as gnat's piss
As well as can be expected
As white as a ghost
As white as a sheet
As white as snow
As wise as an owl

The persistence of many of these phrases is demonstrated by the high percentage that have lasted since the 18th century, when Jonathan Swift published the poem A New Song of Similes, 1757:

(Note the use of the long 's', which was used in the original publishing of the poem and is (somewhat inadequately) represented here as a lowercase 'f'.)

My paffion is as muftard ftrong;
I fit all fober fad,
Drunk as a piper all day long,
Or like a March hare mad.

Round as a hoop the bumpers flow ;
I drink, yet can't forget her ;
For, tho' as drunk as David's fow,
I love her ftill the better.

Pert as a pear-monger I'd be,
If Molly were but kind ;
Cool as a cucumber could fee
The reft of woman-kind.

Like a ftuck pig I gaping ftare,
And eye her o'er and o'er ;
Lean as a rake with fighs and care,
Sleek as a moufe before.

Plump as a partridge was I known,
And foft as filk my fkin ;

My cheeks as fat as butter grown;
But as a groat now thin.

I melancholy as a cat
Am kept awake to weep ;
But fhe, infenfible of that,
Sound as a top can fleep.

Hard is her heart as flint or flone;
She laughs to fee me pale,
And merry as a grig is grown,
And brifk as bottled ale.

The god of love at her approach
Is bufy as a bee!
Hearts found as any bell or roach
Are fmit, and figh like me.

Ay me! as thick as hops or hail,
The fine men croud about her:
But foon as dead as a door-nail
Shall I be, if without her.

Strait as my leg her fhape appears;
O were we join'd together!
My heart would be fcot-free from cares,
And lighter than a feather.

As fine as fivepence is her mien;
No drum was ever tighter ;
Her glance is as the razor keen,
And not the Sun is brighter.

As foft as pap her kiffes are ;
Methinks I tafte them yet ;
Brown as a berry is her hair,
Her eyes as black as jet.

As fmooth as glafs, as white as curds,
Her pretty hand invites :
Sharp as a needle are her words ;
Her wit like pepper bites.

Brifk as a body-loufe fhe trips,
Clean as a penny dreft ;
Sweet as a rofe her breath and lips,
Round as the globe her breaft.

Full as an egg was I with glee,
And happy as a king!
Good Lord! how all men envy'd me
She lov'd like any thing.

But falfe as hell, fhe, like the wind,
Chang'd, as her Sex muft do ;
Tho' feeming as the turtle kind,
And like the gofpel true.

If I and Molly could agree,
Let who would take Peru!
Great as an emp'ror fhould I be,
And richer than a Jew.

Till you grow tender as a chick,
I'm dull as any poft :
Let us like burs together flick,
And warm as any toaft.

You'll know me truer than a dye,
And wifh me better fped,
Flat as a flounder when I lie,
And as a herring dead.

Sure at a gun fhe'll drop a tear.
And figh perhaps, and wifh,
When I am rotten as a pear,
And mute as any fifh.