refer to as a "cleansing of the wicked

Pavel Pin

Senior Member
After both arrive at front of the Firefly house, Sheriff Wydell is said to a colleague Mr. Dobson:

Mr. Dobson, it's time for us to do what the Good Lord would refer to as a "cleansing of the wicked," and what my brother George, God rest his soul, used to call "100% Alabama a** kickin'."

What is the purpose of "as"?
I already looked here and here, but it didn't helped me.

Source: The Devil's Rejects (2005)
  • RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The collocation "refer to as" simply means "call". It is a common expression and I think they just said it because they use "call" in another part of the sentence. It is, however, slightly more formal than "call" so would be more appropriate for what the Good Lord would do. :)
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