Wednesday Favorites – Beloved Clichés

One of the first things I learned as a new writer was to avoid using clichés. Because of that advice, I stayed clear of using catch phrases, stereotypes, and other overused words that point to weak writing. But here’s the thing…some clichés I really like. I find I verbalize clichés more so than writing them, but doggone it some situations call for the use of a good-old-fashioned cliché.

Out of curiosity, I checked the internet to see what kind of information was out there about clichés and I found a ton of stuff. My goodness…there are sites like that help you find clichés based on a simple word search, and there are also sites like that list clichés—hundreds of them—topically. In the last few audio books I’ve listened to, I’ve noticed a cliché that gets a lot of mileage. How many times have you read a novel where someone was “waiting for an eternity?”

Since we normally have nothing good to say about the poor cliché, I thought we’d sneak and share a few we like to use from time to time.

Guess I’ll go first…

Here are a few of my favorite clichés.

  • It is what it is.
  • Out like a light.
  • Between a rock and a hard place.
  • Sleep like a baby.
  • Bitter Tears.

Who’s brave enough to admit having a favorite cliché or two? Oh come on, I can’t be the only one. Who’s with me….

Related Posts:

Wednesday Favorites – Quotes


8 Responses

  1. LOL, sounds like a true confessions time! I can’t think of any off the top of my head that’s a favorite. When I read, I am aware of them and it’s funny how they do slip into good fiction.

  2. I KNOW I use them (more in my speech than in my writing) but right now I sure can’t think of any specifics. I’ll listen to myself and get back to you on that. 🙂

  3. LOL Georgiana, this truly was true confession time for me. 🙂

  4. Sarah, doesn’t it seem like a cliche will just roll off your tongue in certain situations? I don’t know if I could stop myself if I tried.

  5. Ya got me thinkin’ now Sharon, LOL. I can think of a few that I use: “been there done that” . . . “back in the day” . . . “bend over backwards” . . . “on my last nerve” . . . “you snooze, you lose” . . . “you can say that again” . . . “one in a million” . . . “once in a blue moon” . . .

    I could go on and on . . . hmmmmmmm….what does that say about me . . . oh no, wasn’t that another cliche Aaaaauuuuggh!

  6. Wow, Susan, you came up with a bunch of good ones. I say, “Been there done that,” all the time. It’s amazing how much cliches are a part of our expressive language.

  7. Hi Sharon –

    This is an oldie: It’s raining cats and dogs.

    White as snow.

    They mix like oil and water.

    I could probably think of 10 or 20 more, but I think I’ve used up my space limit. LOL!

    Susan 🙂

  8. Susan, isn’t it amazing how many clichés we use and can easily list? I wonder where the raining cats and dogs cliché came from. I’m sure there’s some historical significance that would be quite interesting, like the cliché throwing out the baby with the bath water.

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