Men and Women

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Men and Women



  1. Arm in arm … like a pair of loving turtle-doves —William Shakespeare
  1. Court … as you would court a farm —for the strength of the silo and the perfection of the title —Josh Billings

    Like many Billings witticisms this one was written in phonetic dialect as follows: “As you wud court a farm —for the strength ov the sile and the parfeckshun ov the title.”

  2. Dating a grad student was like making hurried-up popcorn: lots of butter, high heat, instant noise —Will Weaver
  3. The distance between them is like a desert, or an unswimmable body of water —Hilma Wolitzer

    In her novel, In the Palomar Arms, Wolitzer is describing an estranged husband and wife, lying far apart on a large bed.

  4. Felt my eyes going down across her mouth, her throat like fingers —Julio Cortázar
  5. Finding a man is like finding a job; its easier to find one when you already have one —Paige Mitchell
  6. Girls (on the Cripple Creek ‘bout half grown) jump on a boy like a dog on a bone —American folk song, “Cripple Creek”
  7. Handle a small woman like she’s made out of steel, and a big woman like she’s made out of glass —Paige Mitchell

    See Also: ADVICE

  8. The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history —George Eliot
  9. He goes about the business of fondling you, like someone very tired at night having to put out the trash and bolt-lock the door —Lorrie Moore
  10. He likes fat women the way a rat likes pumpkins —Rita Mae Brown
  11. He ran through women like a child through growing hay —Louis MacNeice

    The same image from a conversation overheard on a bus describes the woman as the sexual predator: “She runs through men like a fever.”

  12. He regarded women in the way that little girls regard their dolls, as toys to be dressed and undressed —Frank Swinnerton
  13. Her responsiveness was something that fed him as wood fed the fire —Paul Horgan
  14. He swept through her like a great ragged hawk on its journey to another prey —John Le Carré
  15. He thought she’d fall like a ripe apple —Rita Mae Brown
  16. He was looking at me the way a butcher must size up a carcass of beef, like I was one of those drawings with the parts of the cow on it, all the choice cuts and the waste —Jonathan Valin
  17. He would always feel for her that impersonal admiration which is inspired by anything very large, like the Empire State Building or the Grand Canyon of Arizona —P. G. Wodehouse
  18. Holds her face in his cupped hands as carefully as a thirsty man would gather water —Hilma Wolitzer
  19. I dropped her like a bad habit —James Crumley

    The simile continues with: “Put her under his arm, and all but ate ever last crust of her.”

  20. It’s as natural for women to pride themselves in fine clothes as ‘tis for a peacock to spread his tail —John Ray’s Proverbs

    A look at fashion, both past and present, would indicate that this could well be a unisex simile.

  21. I want to steep myself in you … as if you were a South wind —Wallace Stevens, letter to his fiancée
  22. Just us two … like two roots joined and widening out into a flower —David Denby
  23. Like an animal, he was aware of me at once —Robertson Davies
  24. Like two mummies, we have been wrapped tight in love —Yehuda Amichai
  25. Like two open cities in the midst of some vast plain their two minds lay open to each other —Katherine Mansfield
  26. Like Ulysses tying himself to the mast to resist the song of the sirens, Jim had to brace himself to withstand the charm of Kate’s voice —Henri-Pierre Roche
  27. Making love to women is almost as old as chess —Robert Traver
  28. A man is like a cat; chase him and he’ll run … sit still and ignore him and he’ll come purring at your feet —Helen Rowland
  29. Man without woman would be as stupid a game as playing checkers alone —Josh Billings


  30. Men like to pursue an elusive woman, like a cake of wet soap in a bathtub; even men who hate baths —Gelett Burgess
  31. A mistress should be like a little country retreat near the town; not to dwell in constantly, but only for a night and away —William Wycherly
  32. My blood is singing in her system, like whisky —Irwin Shaw
  33. Paired off like the animals in the ark —Ross Macdonald
  34. She drained me like a fevered moon —Edgar Lee Masters
  35. She leaned easily against his shoulder … as if she had done herself up in a parcel, addressed to him, left on his doorstep, from now on, his responsibility —Elizabeth Taylor
  36. She made the blood run round in my veins like horses on a track —Ross Macdonald
  37. Sometimes being with her is like being caught in a tornado —Alvin Boretz, television drama, 1986
  38. Some women learn, like slaves, to study men —Charles Johnson
  39. Take them [women] away and his (man’s) existence is as flat and secure as that of a moo-cow —H. L. Mencken
  40. (They hugged … ) their hearts shook them, like two people pounding at the same time on both sides of a very thin door —Eudora Welty
  41. To be intimate with a foolish man’s like going to bed with a razor —Ben Franklin
  42. The trouble with being a woman is that you are supposed to enhance men; to add gaiety to their evening, like balloons, even if you feel heavy as stone —Daphne Merkin
  43. Twenty years of romance make a woman look like a ruin; but twenty years of marriage make her something like a public building —Oscar Wilde
  44. Two couples living together and talking openly for a week … it was like a week in a bell jar —Joanne Kates, New York Times/Hers, October 2, 1986
  45. Very gently, as to a wild animal, I reached out my hand and made her turn her head —John Fowles
  46. A woman, I always say, should be like a good suspense movie: the more left to the imagination, the more excitement there is —Alfred Hitchcock, Reader’s Digest, July, 1963

    Hitchcock topped off his simile with this bit of advice: “This should be her aim; to create suspense, to let a man discover things about her without her having to tell him.”

  47. A woman is like a salad: much depends on the dressing —Anon

    There’s also a saying, “Clothes make the man,” to prove that this simile has no gender limitation.

  48. A woman moved is like a fountain troubled, muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty —William Shakespeare
  49. A woman’s heart, like the moon, is always changing, but there is always a man in it —Punch
  50. A woman’s preaching is something like a dog’s walking on his hinder legs. It is not done well; but you are not surprised to find it done at all —Samuel Johnson

    Women preachers continue to make good newspaper copy —which prompted a Wall Street Journal reader to use the Johnson simile in response to a December 24, 1986 story on this subject.

  51. A woman without a man is like a garden without a fence —German proverb
  52. A woman without a man is like a wild rose which blooms fast and … falls apart with the wind —Diane Wakoski
  53. Women are always a touchstone … like litmus paper or dogs before an earthquake —Iris Murdoch
  54. Women are like flowers, a little dust or squeezing makes them the more fragrant —Josh Billings

    In Billings’ dialect the first part of this read as follows: “Wimmin are like flowers, a little dust ov squeezing.”

  55. Women are like tricks to sleight of hand. Which to admire we should not understand —William Congreve
  56. Women are very much like religion; we must take them on faith or go without —F. Marion Crawford
  57. Women as compared to men are like point lace to canvas —Charles H. Hoyt
  58. Women follow him around like flies after garbage —Paige Mitchell
  59. Women’s hearts are like old china, none the worse for a break or two —W. Somer
  60. You’ve [woman being addressed by a man] got an off-on switch like a circuit breaker —Will Weaver
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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But my core group, my real close buddies, have all grown up to be successful men and women.