Quote: “Miss Cleavage.” Pierce Marshall, resentful stepson of Anna Nicole Smith.
Figure of Speech: antonomasia (an-to-no-MAY-sia), the descriptive nickname.
Classic love story: Stripper marries doddering oilman, becomes grieving widow, gets stiffed of inheritance by oilman’s son, and sues all the way to the Supreme Court. “Quite a story,” says a sentimental Justice Breyer, almost wiping a tear from his eye.
When Pierce Marshall, 67-year-old son and alleged heir of Anna Nicole Smith’s hubby, refers to his 36-year-old stepmom as “Miss Cleavage,” he employs an antonomasia (“to name instead”). The figure uses a short description as a substitute for a proper name. The antonomasia can also work the other way, with a proper name as a description— referring to a soldier as a Rambo, for instance, or calling an obsequious black man Uncle Tom.
Snappy Answer: “That’s one thing you can’t steal.”