Peter Filichia's weekly column ...
Home  |  News  |  Shop by Category  |  Filichia on Friday  |  Fun  |  Links  |  International  |  Contact
January 8, 2016

The 2016 Broadway University Mid-Term Examination

Remember from our days in school when our English teachers tried to drum into our heads what a simile was?

Here’s the official definition they would have loved to have heard any one of us say: “A simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things. Unlike a metaphor, a simile draws resemblance with the help of the words ‘like’ or ‘as.’”

One thing’s for sure: Broadway lyricists learned what similes were. Throughout musical theater history, they’ve used them effusively. We can easily prove that by the substantial number of them that I’ve listed below. You are to identify from what songs and musicals that these 50 and the Bonus Question come.

All answers are due by Tuesday, January 19 by 11:59 p.m. Send them to me at I know you’ll do them with the

1. “The neighbors want to know why I'm always shaking just like a flivver.”

2. “I'm as gay as a Disney cow.”

3. “The corn is as high as an elephant's eye.”

4. “Unless there's love -- a love that's shining like a harbor light.”

5. “ You're as tight lipped as an oyster and as silent as an old Sahara spink!”

6. “Next to her, and she'll purr like a kitten.”

7. “Wanna cry, wanna croon; wanna laugh like a loon.”
8. “All the music of life seems to be like a bell that is ringing for me.”)

9. “Do I mind if she fret and fuss? If she fume like Vesuvius?”
10. “As faithful as a bird dog or as kind as Santa Claus.”

11. “He'd rub my neck 'cause it was stiff and feeling like the handle of a mop.”

12. “I don't care if he's as strong as a lion.”

13. “As sturdy as Gibraltar -- not a second did you falter.”

14. “Like a perfumed woman the wind blows in the bunkhouse.”

15. “Stern as an eagle; shy as a dove.”

16. “I'm like a kid who's found a dime.”

17. “Right now -- somehow -- I'm dumber than a cow.”

18. “He's as decent as a minister. He's as sober as a judge.”

19. “And Mrs. Breslin has been as busy as a bee rehearsing.”

20. “And even if you grumble, be as graceful as a grouse.”

21. “Suppose he snores like a locomotive?”

22. “For Mama, make him rich as a king.”

23. “I'm weak as custard. Can't make the grade. Can’t cut the mustard.”

24. “You've got a face like Dracula – and I mean that in the nicest way.”

25. “Make the Queen of Bees hot as brandy.”

26. “You're packed as solid as a knish.”

27. “For the lad who with lechery's linked is a bird like the dodo: extinct.”

28. “Why should I sit home alone at night shaking like some broken radiator?”

29. “I live like a monk in an abbey.”

30. “Frisky as a lamb, lazy as a clam.”

31. “I'm as physically fit as a flea.”

32. “Lay out their lives like lines on a graph.”

33. “I love to spend whole mornings in the kitchen where it's as warm as a kitten's tongue.”

34. “Up a steep and very narrow stairway to the voice like a metronome.”

35. “They’re strict -- as straight as a line.”

36. “My head was as bald as a novice's knees.”

37. “In France, shining like a sun through the post-war haze, a beautiful reminder of the carefree days.”

38. “And I would be as hard as nails and they would only want me more.”

39. “He's like the son I never had.”

40. “The punches he took someone less would be out like a light.”

41. “Like a nightingale without a song to sing.”

42. “Like a fish plucked from the ocean tossed in a foreign stream.”

43. “Won't they take to him like cats to cream?”

44. “Raving, craving, like birds of prey 'round the hors d'oeuvre tray.”

45. “You're like a stinky old cheese, babe.”

46. “She cooks like my mother and sucks like a Hoover.”

47. “Like a ship blown from its mooring by a wind off the sea; like a seed dropped by a skybird in a distant wood.”

48. “I'm itching like a man on a fuzzy tree.”

49. “She chopped me down like an old oak tree.”

50. “She’s moody as a snapper, oblivious as rocks.”


SHE: “Like helping a mouse out of a trap.”
HE: “Like helping a fish out of a net.”
SHE: “Like helping a groom flee from the rice.”
HE: “Like helping Eliza crossing the ice.”

SHE: “Like fishing a cat out of a brook.”
HE: “Like rescuing Wendy from Captain Hook.”

SHE: “Like saving a tree getting the ax.”
HE: “Like saving sweet Nellie tied to the tracks.”

         — Peter Filichia



You may e-mail Peter at

Check out his weekly column each Tuesday at

and each Friday at

His upcoming book The Great Parade: Broadway’s Astonishing, Never-To-Be Forgotten 1963-1964 Season is now available
for pre-order at

Filichia on Friday archived columns


Home  |  News  |  Shop by Category  |  Filichia on Friday  |  Fun  |  Links  |  International  |  Contact