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This reminds me of the kenningar (sg. kenning), fixed metaphors used
in the ancient literature of Germanic languages. It may not be the
term you're looking for, but may be worth a look anyway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenning

JoŃo Ricardo de Mendonša



On 11/14/05, Andreas Johansson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> In Meghean it's considered nifty and sophisticated to refer to abstract concepts
> by mentioning two related concrete things instead. So, one might say _conich oa
> teoa_ "spear and fire" for "war", or _inde oa ma˝ha_ "coin and ship" for trade.
>
> Is there a name for this sort of idiom? It's a case of pars pro toto (partes pro
> toto?), but is there something more specific?
>
>                                                 Andreas
>