Hi jemimaspare. Welcome to the Fforum. Help yourself to some pie.
You will find a description of a Bowden cable here.
This should tell you more than you need to know about these cables.
My guess is that Mr. Fforde just likes the sound of the name "Analogy". I don't think that he is particularly analogous to anything. Perhaps one of the other escapees from Nextian chat can come up with a good reason for the name.....