Economic language as well as figures of economic thought and bodies of knowledge are to a great extent organized in metaphorical terms. Certainly, the metaphorical content of discourse on economic crises cannot be ignored. In fact metaphors are fundamental elements of these discourses. This contribution addresses two especially prevalent and efficacious groups of metaphors: on the one hand, images of body and disease, on the other those of machinery and mechanics. Drawing on the examples of three economic crises of the 20th century, different manifestations of these verbal images are identified and their discursive features illustrated. Finally, the question is examined which factors influence the specific structure of “metaphor households” in crisis discourses.
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