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    He Called Her “Miss,” and He Meant It to Sting

    annanicolesmith.jpgQuote:  “Miss Cleavage.” Pierce Marshall, resentful stepson of Anna Nicole Smith.

    Figure of Speechantonomasia (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.”

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    Reader Comments (4)

    "I screwed him out of $20 million, and wasn't even a lawyer."
    March 1, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergb
    Actually one of the lawyers called her Miss Clevage, not Pierce Marshall. Luckily nobody was really screwed out of 20 million.
    July 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRob
    We stand corrected, thanks, Rob. Though "screwed into" might be more accurate than "screwed out of."
    July 29, 2006 | Registered CommenterFigaro

    I need to unsubscribe, and I don't see a way to do that. I'm going to be traveling for more than three months and *must* keep my inbox a bit tidy. Help, please.

    August 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterShannon Holcomb

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