In his foundation-laying study of the early Austronesian lexicon, Dempwolff (1938) proposed the reconstructions *bali[dD]a 'k.o. fish' and *balija 'weaver's sword'. Although these formally similar lexical reconstructions show no obvious semantic connection, both are assignable to Proto-Austronesian *baRija 'weaver's sword'. This etymon became Proto–Malayo-Polynesian *balija, which is reconstructed with the meanings 'weaver's sword' and 'k.o. fish', since reflexes of this form refer not only to a part of the loom, but also metaphorically to certain kinds of fish or, less frequently, kinds of plants, landscapes, or parts of constructions (musical instrument, house, etc.). The use of metaphorical extensions taking "cultural" objects as the model for representing "natural" objects is also discussed briefly.