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lick (flames)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by acid...burn, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Hello everybody,

    I'm wondering if it's correct to say "the flames are licking (or licking across) her body"?

    The context is a woman that catches fire.

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    It's quite common to describe the action of flames this way, I'd say.
     
  3. Thank you very much! :)
     
  4. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
  5. stormwreath Senior Member

    English - England
    I wouldn't use the expression "the flames are licking across her body" to describe someone who'd actually caught fire. When flames lick something, it means they're stretching out and just touching it, the way you'd put out your tongue to lick something. It implies the burning is either slight, or brief, or has only just reached the object in question.

    Of course, if flames keep on licking across something, eventually it will also catch fire.
     
  6. benlinus New Member

    English
    A tiny lick of flame flickered round the mouth of the flame-throwerIt's quite common to describe the action of flames this way as u did. Regard's.
     
  7. irinet

    irinet Senior Member

    Bucharest
    Romanian
    So, you say that the context is about passion and 'flames licking someone's body' are related to sex, metaphorically speaking?
    This is what I have understood, am I wrong? Nothing is on fire but someone surely is hot!
     
  8. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    No, the context is fairly explicit: "The context is a woman that catches fire." ... although it's fair to say that there's always scope for a metaphor.
     
  9. Haha, no, no, no metaphor at all, and not at all about sex!!! Just a woman that catches fire with real flames ;-)

    Thank you for your help!
     

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