A critical analysis of metaphors used in Arabic and English cosmetics advertisements

  • Ayah Alnajjar University of Jordan
  • Abdel Rahman Mitib Altakhaineh University of Jordan


This study aims to critically analyze metaphors employed in Arabic cosmetics advertisements and compare them to those used in English advertisements. A specialized corpus including 250 advertisements (125 Arabic advertisements and 125 English ones) of different cosmetics products was compiled. The method adopted for data analysis was based on Charteris-Black’s (2004) Critical Metaphor Analysis framework (CMA). Data analysis demonstrated that advertisers in the context of cosmetics advertisements use different conceptual metaphors to depict cosmetics, beauty, skin/hair care and skin/hair. The findings revealed that both languages share 5 conceptual metaphors out of 10. Moreover, some metaphors reveal how both Arabs and Westerners perceive the beauty of skin or hair.


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Author Biographies

Ayah Alnajjar, University of Jordan

Ayah Alnajjar obtained her MA in Linguistics from The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan. She is currently an English teacher at the Jordanian Ministry of Education. She is mainly interested in cognitive linguistics, metaphor, discourse analysis and second language acquisition.

Ayah can be contacted at: aya.k.alnajjar@gmail.com

Abdel Rahman Mitib Altakhaineh, University of Jordan

Abdel Rahman Mitib Altakhaineh is Assistant Professor of English language and linguistics at The University of Jordan, Jordan. He obtained his PhD in linguistics from Newcastle University, UK. His research interests lie in the areas of morphology, lexical semantics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and technology in language learning. He published research papers in Lingua, Languages, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Studia Linguistica, Language and Cognition, Canadian Journal of Linguistics, Applied Linguistics Review and others. Abdel Rahman can be contacted at:  a.altakhaineh@ju.edu.jo