CLICHE KLATCH! Challenge Sign-Up

Cliches (or clichés) and figures of speech, adages, etc. can give us insight into a character or bore us to tears.  But, they are a “fact of life.” And, it is really hard not to use them.  Sometimes I don’t even know I am using one until I look back and see that something is said in terms that I’ve heard before.

I read AVOIDING CLICHES at and thought, “What if I made a note every time I hit a cliche in the book from the all-encompassing list at THE CLICHE SITE.”

3/3/15 MODIFICATION: Any list of cliches will do.  The Cliche site doesn’t seem to be supported at this time.  I have added  to my repertoire.

But that’s a lot of cliches and honestly some of them just seem to be compound words or slang (bringing up even more questions).  So, I went through and picked just over a hundred cliches (also cliché but my spell checker hates that é) which are below.

BUT,  I have found none of the randomly chosen cliches appear in anything I read! SOOO I have been adding to the list as I read.  As I mentioned in the original post, feel free to add in! 

What’s the  “Official Definition” of cliche or cliché?

Cliche (cliché)
1. A trite or overused expression or idea: “Even while the phrase was degenerating to cliché in ordinary public use scholars were giving it increasing attention” (Anthony Brandt).

[French, past participle of clicher, to stereotype (imitative of the sound made when the matrix is dropped into molten metal to make a stereotype plate).]
Synonyms: cliché, bromide, platitude, truism
These nouns denote an expression or idea that has lost its originality or force through overuse: a short story weakened by clichés; the bromide that we are what we eat; a eulogy full of platitudes; a once-original thought that is now a truism.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. (

Giving Credit Where It is Due:
Up front I want to say I am riffing off of an idea started by Sophia Rose for the LITERARY PICKERS Challenge I am doing.


If you want to join the challenge, you can choose a level and then it’s a “piece of cake.”  Sign up below the list of SUGGESTED CLICHES.




? to ? the None of Your Beeswax Level

  • See Challenges are Personal below – you can do this without signing up or reporting in.

10 to 19  Throwing Your Hat in the Ring

20 to 35 Not Just Whistling Dixie

36 to 50 Jumping In With Both Feet


Any Genre over 180 100 pages. I originally said 180 but other, similar challenges use 100 pages as the minimum.

Audiobooks, E-books and Printbooks, or books in braille read between February 1, 2015 and January 31, 2015.

If you started the book in January but finished it in February it can count.

Carry-Over: Books can be used in more than one challenge.

You can pick up to two cliches from any one book. But each cliche only counts once.

I will be tracking this much like I do the Literary Pickers challenge(see above).  I will use this badge to identify the book as working with this challenge.  You can use it as well, in your posts or in your sidebar!

Cliche Klatch Icon

  • If you are a blogger you can track these on a page on your, on Goodreads on Pinterest, on your companion site – wherever. You can take a look at how I am tracking my challenge here:
    Basically I will list the found cliches above the cliches left to be found. I will strikethrough found cliches.
  • If you aren’t a blogger you can use your Goodreads Page, or use the comments section below, or on the group Facebook page. If you like you can comment below to tell us how.
  • You do not have to write a review, just tell us which cliche and the book and author. If you want to say more or link to a review that’s cool.  For example you might say whether the example seemed like it was justified,  shorthand, a lack of originality, or, that it was appropriate to the character and thus an appropriate use of a cliche.
  • If you don’t want to commit by signing up below, but still want to do it you  can also just track this in your head, your notebook, on a dry erase board or some other way.


I picked the following out of the greater list at Clichesite, but you can use any from any list if you want. Here are three I use now:

Instead of adding in the cliches I add from other lists, I am just going to put them on my tracking page  Because the list below is just suggestion. You can use what ever list or resource you want.

They are alphabetical

BTW – variants and other pronouns are okay

  1. Acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, The
  2. All’s well that ends well (added 2/3)
  3. Asleep at the wheel
  4. As luck would have it (added 2/20)
  5. At the crack of dawn
  6. Back to square one (added 2/11)
  7. ball of wax, The whole
  8. Balls to the wall
  9. Bet the farm
  10. Blood is thicker than water (3/3/15)
  11. Blow Smoke at me (added 2/17)
  12. Caca me me scheme (cockamamy or any spelling variant)
  13. can of whoop ass, Open up a
  14. Champagne taste and a beer budget (variants)
  15. Chomping at the bit
  16. Cover your ass
  17. Cute as a button (3/3)
  18. Cut the mustard
  19. Dances/moves to the beat of a different drummer
  20. Deer in the headlights
  21. Diamond in the rough
  22. Doesn’t have a clue (3/3/15)
  23. Doesn’t stand a chance
  24. Don’t get your knickers in a twist/panties in a bunch
  25. Down in the mouth/on your luck
  26. Drink the Kool-Aid
  27. Don’t Rock the Boat/Rock the Boat
  28. Dropping like Flies
  29. Elephant in the Room
  30. Ends justify the means, The
  31. Escaped,…, by the skin of your Teeth (modified from “made it by the skin of my teeth,” added 3/1)
  32. Everything but the kitchen sink
  33. Everything’s hunky dory
  34. Face only a mother could love, A
  35. Fancy meeting you here
  36. Few fries short of a happy meal/Few sandwiches short of a picnic, A
  37. Flesh and blood (3/3)
  38. Get a room (Added 2/20)
  39. Give it a whirl
  40. Go Ballistic (added 2/11/15)
  41. Got the stuffing beat out of him
  42. Green with envy
  43. Greener pastures
  44. Happy as a pig in mud (Happy as a pig in sh#t)
  45. Haste makes waste
  46. Having a heart attack(added 2/3)
  47. Head over heels
  48. Heart of gold
  49. Hide the salami
  50. His bark is worse than his bite (2/20)
  51. Hit the books/bricks/deck!/ hay/road/sack, etc.
  52. Hook, line and sinker
  53. Icing on the cake, The (Added 2/7/15)
  54. I beg to differ
  55. I’ll bet dollar(s) to doughnut(s)
  56. In cold blood
  57. In the nick of time.
  58. It ain’t rocket science
  59. It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye
  60. Jack of all trades and a master of none, A
  61. Jockeying for position
  62. Just the tip of the iceberg
  63. Kicked some ass/Kicked ass (Added 2/20)
  64. Kings Ransom, A
  65. Knockout, A (Added 2/20)
  66. Left at the altar (added 3/1)
  67. Making whoopee
  68. Money grubbing
  69. Must be seeing things, I
  70. My bad
  71. No holds barred
  72. Naked as a jaybird/the day you were born
  73. No skin off my nose
  74. No strings attached
  75. Object of desire
  76. Off the Hook (Added 2/20)
  77. On a lark
  78. On a short leash
  79. Out of the woods
  80. Out of the clear blue/blue
  81. Out to lunch
  82. Out Sowing Wild Oats (Added 2/20)
  83. Over a barrel
  84. Over the top
  85. Pack it in
  86. Pay as you go
  87. Payback is a bitch
  88. Penny pincher
  89. Piece of cake
  90. Play with Fire (3/8)
  91. Play Devils advocate (added 3/8
  92. Play it by ear
  93. Play the Field added 2/7/15
  94. Poor as a church mouse
  95. Pound of flesh
  96. Quick Buck, A
  97. Quiet as a church mouse
  98. Rain on my parade (Don’t)
  99. Raking it in/Raking in the money
  100. Read the fine print
  101. Roll of the dice, A
  102. Rotten to the core
  103. Rub salt in the wound
  104. Rub your nose (face) in it, To
  105. See you later alligator
  106. Separate the wheat from the chaff
  107. Shed some light on, To
  108. Shot in the dark, A
  109. Slam Dunk, A
  110. Slipped through your fingers
  111. Slow as molasses in January
  112. Sly as a fox, To be
  113. Small potatoes
  114. Sugarcoat something, To
  115. Tail between his legs
  116. Take it easy
  117. Take it from me
  118. Take it to the limit
  119. Talk shop
  120. Thank Goodness (added 2/3)
  121. That’s a load off my mind
  122. That’s the ticket
  123. Think outside the box, To
  124. Thumb your nose at, To
  125. Time is Money (added 2/7/15)
  126. Toe/Tow the line
  127. Under someone’s thumb
  128. Uphill battle
  129. Variety is the spice of life
  130. Waiting for the other shoe to drop
  131. Watch your mouth, To
  132. What a way to go
  133. What are you stewing about?
  134. What goes around comes around
  135. Witch Hunt, A
  136. Wrong side of the tracks, The
  137. Yank someone’s chain, To
  138. You lost me
  139. Zip it!/Zip Your lip
  140. Zoo, What A