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 http://www.publishingcrawl.com/2015/01/16/avoiding-cliches/ 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.”
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?
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.
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.
HOW TO SIGN UP!
1. PICK A LEVEL:
? 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
2. WHAT COUNTS:
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.
3. TRACKING: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A BLOGGER.
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!
- 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.
4. SUGGESTED CLICHES
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
- Acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, The
- All’s well that ends well (added 2/3)
- Asleep at the wheel
- As luck would have it (added 2/20)
- At the crack of dawn
- Back to square one (added 2/11)
- ball of wax, The whole
- Balls to the wall
- Bet the farm
- Blood is thicker than water (3/3/15)
- Blow Smoke at me (added 2/17)
- Caca me me scheme (cockamamy or any spelling variant)
- can of whoop ass, Open up a
- Champagne taste and a beer budget (variants)
- Chomping at the bit
- Cover your ass
- Cute as a button (3/3)
- Cut the mustard
- Dances/moves to the beat of a different drummer
- Deer in the headlights
- Diamond in the rough
- Doesn’t have a clue (3/3/15)
- Doesn’t stand a chance
- Don’t get your knickers in a twist/panties in a bunch
- Down in the mouth/on your luck
- Drink the Kool-Aid
- Don’t Rock the Boat/Rock the Boat
- Dropping like Flies
- Elephant in the Room
- Ends justify the means, The
- Escaped,…, by the skin of your Teeth (modified from “made it by the skin of my teeth,” added 3/1)
- Everything but the kitchen sink
- Everything’s hunky dory
- Face only a mother could love, A
- Fancy meeting you here
- Few fries short of a happy meal/Few sandwiches short of a picnic, A
- Flesh and blood (3/3)
- Get a room (Added 2/20)
- Give it a whirl
- Go Ballistic (added 2/11/15)
- Got the stuffing beat out of him
- Green with envy
- Greener pastures
- Happy as a pig in mud (Happy as a pig in sh#t)
- Haste makes waste
- Having a heart attack(added 2/3)
- Head over heels
- Heart of gold
- Hide the salami
- His bark is worse than his bite (2/20)
- Hit the books/bricks/deck!/ hay/road/sack, etc.
- Hook, line and sinker
- Icing on the cake, The (Added 2/7/15)
- I beg to differ
- I’ll bet dollar(s) to doughnut(s)
- In cold blood
- In the nick of time.
- It ain’t rocket science
- It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye
- Jack of all trades and a master of none, A
- Jockeying for position
- Just the tip of the iceberg
- Kicked some ass/Kicked ass (Added 2/20)
- Kings Ransom, A
- Knockout, A (Added 2/20)
- Left at the altar (added 3/1)
- Making whoopee
- Money grubbing
- Must be seeing things, I
- My bad
- No holds barred
- Naked as a jaybird/the day you were born
- No skin off my nose
- No strings attached
- Object of desire
- Off the Hook (Added 2/20)
- On a lark
- On a short leash
- Out of the woods
- Out of the clear blue/blue
- Out to lunch
- Out Sowing Wild Oats (Added 2/20)
- Over a barrel
- Over the top
- Pack it in
- Pay as you go
- Payback is a bitch
- Penny pincher
- Piece of cake
- Play with Fire (3/8)
- Play Devils advocate (added 3/8 http://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/_Which_clich_annoys_you_the_most__46944.aspx)
- Play it by ear
- Play the Field added 2/7/15
- Poor as a church mouse
- Pound of flesh
- Quick Buck, A
- Quiet as a church mouse
- Rain on my parade (Don’t)
- Raking it in/Raking in the money
- Read the fine print
- Roll of the dice, A
- Rotten to the core
- Rub salt in the wound
- Rub your nose (face) in it, To
- See you later alligator
- Separate the wheat from the chaff
- Shed some light on, To
- Shot in the dark, A
- Slam Dunk, A
- Slipped through your fingers
- Slow as molasses in January
- Sly as a fox, To be
- Small potatoes
- Sugarcoat something, To
- Tail between his legs
- Take it easy
- Take it from me
- Take it to the limit
- Talk shop
- Thank Goodness (added 2/3)
- That’s a load off my mind
- That’s the ticket
- Think outside the box, To
- Thumb your nose at, To
- Time is Money (added 2/7/15)
- Toe/Tow the line
- Under someone’s thumb
- Uphill battle
- Variety is the spice of life
- Waiting for the other shoe to drop
- Watch your mouth, To
- What a way to go
- What are you stewing about?
- What goes around comes around
- Witch Hunt, A
- Wrong side of the tracks, The
- Yank someone’s chain, To
- You lost me
- Zip it!/Zip Your lip
- Zoo, What A