An implied metaphor is an ambiguous usage of a term or concept which may reasonably be considered to refer to a metaphoric context. This is a common conversational or literary device which may be used to bait people or to mislead readers. There are no actual literary rules for implied metaphoric usage, which is understandable given the kinds of meanings which can be read into any form of symbolism or allegory. Conversationally, implied metaphors can be humorous, even scatological, or abusive.
Examples of Implied Metaphor:
Literary: Voltaire's 'L''Ingenue', the story of the wild person introduced into society, contains many implied metaphors.|
Common usage: 'Identifying too strongly with an elephant can be misinterpreted,' said Fred, looking at his friend as if hoping to see a response.