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Frank J. Wilstach, comp. A Dictionary of Similes. 1916.

O. Henry

Full of apathy as a territorial delegate during the chaplain’s prayer.

Blacker than a raven in a coal mine.

Blinking like a disreputable, drunken owl.

Boomed like a split trombone.

Breathing like a second-hand bicycle pump.

Good a chance to win as a man learning to play poker on an ocean steamer.

Clatter like a churn-dasher dabbling in buttermilk.

Clear as the water in trout pools.

Crying like Niobe or Niagara.

Dangerous as a machine gun.

Ambiguous … blue eyes like the china dog on the mantel piece.

Served as fast as you throw the five baseballs at the colored gentleman’s head.

Put up a fight like a welter-weight cinnamon bear.

Fits you like a flannel washed in hot suds.

Followed like a child after the Pied Piper.

Glaring like a lion in a trap.

Grand as floor-walkers.

Handsome as a new stake-rope on a thirty-dollar pony.

Helpless as a turtle on its back.

Immovable as a setter at the scent of quail.

Gave a short laugh like the closing of a padlock.

Lay like a bank of stage snow.

Lined like the rind of a cantaloupe.

He looked like a composite picture of five thousand orphans too late to catch a picnic steamboat.

Loose as the wrapper of a two-for-fiver.

Meditative, like a girl trying to decide which dress to wear to the party.

Merry as an alimony bell.

Musical as the holes of a flute without the flute.

Make a noise like an assessment.

Pockets … looked like a pool table’s after a fifteen-ball run.

Polite as wax.

Love should be as private a sentiment as a toothbrush.

Protruding, like the clue to a Lilliputian murder mystery.

Puffed like a leaky steam pipe.

Reclined like some vacuous beauty lounging in a guarded harem.

Rising in the middle of it like a lump of self-raising dough.

Go round and round like Catherine wheels.

Shuddered like some woman’s overfat pug when a street dog bristles up at him.

Shun as moles shun light.

Slick as soap grease.

Softly as a burglar goes.

Stepping softly like a scout.

Soothed like the music of a tom-tom.

Stay … about as long as a tenderfoot would stick on an untamed bronco.

Still as a graveyard.

A good story is like a bitter pill with the sugar coating inside of it.

Thick as two body-snatchers.

Steamer …
Tore its way out like a savage sawfish.

Tosses you about like cork crumbs in wine opened by an unfeed waiter.

Transparent as mica.

Unapproachable as a star.

Uncomfortable as a raw oyster served with sweet pickles.

Unsullied in life and deed as a holy saint.

Up and down like a milk punch in the shaker.

Voice like a coyote with bronchitis.

Wander like a lost soul in a Sam Lloyd puzzle.

Windy as a dog-day in Kansas.

Working like the gills of a fish.

Yellow as a Chinaman.