Also found in: Thesaurus.
See Also: DIFFICULTY
- As slippery as an eel —Dutch proverb
This has given rise to extensions such as, “Slippery as an eel dipped in butter” by F. van Wyck Mason.
- (Love is) as slippery as greased pigskin —Delmore Schwartz See Also: LOVE
- Avoided [another person] like a vampire avoids sunburn —Joseph Wambaugh
- (He was) difficult as a serpent to see —D. H. Lawrence
The elusive creature being described is a fox sliding along in deep grass.
- (The feeling persisted, insidious and) difficult to trace as perfume —Harvey Swados
- Elusive as a collar button —Jim Murray
Murray, sports columnist for the Los Angeles Herald, applied this simile to football player Mike Garrett.
- Elusive as a dream —William Diehl
“Fugitive as dreams,” used by Tom Maclntyre in a short story Epithalamion, illustrates the possibility for change through word substitutions.
- Elusive as a wet fish —Anon
- Elusive as buried treasure —Anon
- Elusive as the cure for cancer —Anon
- Elusive as the cure for aging —Anon
- Elusive as the source of a rumor —Anon
- Elusiveness, like a thought that presents itself to consciousness and vanishes before it can be captured by words —W. Somerset Maugham
- Evaded me, much like the myth of Tantalus —Marguerite Young
- Evasion, like equivocation, comes generally from a cowardly or a deceiving spirit, or from both —Honore de Balzac
- Hard to hold as a flapping sail in a raging wind —Gerald Kersh
The hold to which Kersh alludes is the grip of one wrestler on another in the story entitled All the Terrible Turk.
- Intangible as a beautiful thought —W. Somerset Maugham
- Intangible as love and fear —Andre Dubus
- (A vision swarming through the mind as sudden and) irretrievable as smoke —William Styron
- It [information] got away from me so easily, like the tail of a kite, when the kite’s already out of your hands —Cornell Woolrich
- It [trying to tie up a boxing opponent) was just like trying to hold onto a buzz-saw —Ernest Hemingway
- Like fish in an aquarium, they [two girls] flashed in and out of sight —Frank Tuohy
- Like sand from a clenched fist, he was slipping through her fingers —Ben Ames Williams
- (She was so marvelous that, when he tried to think of her, her description) rolled away from him like a dropped coin —Mark Helprin
- (She) seemed like a shadow within a shadow —D. H. Lawrence
Lawrence is describing one of the two main female characters in The Fox, a woman the male character desires but doesn’t understand.
- She was like a rubber ball; he couldn’t get a grip —Beryl Bainbridge
- Slipped by like a mouse —Anton Chekhov
- [Something said] slipped out of me like a cork from the deep —Reynolds Price
- Slipped through [guards] like a fox through a barnyard —Clive Cussler
- Slippery as shadows in day’s foam —Delmore Schwartz
- They might as well be looking for a shoe in a swamp —Clive Cussler