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Just asking out of idle curiousity. There are some words that just always seem to be found together, such as

strong, silent type

cool, calm and collected

cheap and cheerful

Can you think of others? Does their alliterativeness doom them to the status of cliché?

Unrelated: How is it possible that 'cliché' and 'alliteration' do not yet exist as tags on the site? (As a new user I can't create tags.)

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4  
There, is that better? :-) –  Marthaª Nov 4 '10 at 17:10
    
They're not cliché yet! Just little idioms. –  Jon Purdy Nov 4 '10 at 17:14
    
I thought it was "calm, cool and collected"? –  SamB Feb 11 '11 at 6:16
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closed as not constructive by RegDwigнt Jan 5 '12 at 14:51

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5 Answers

  • alas and alack
  • bear the brunt
  • born and bred
  • with courage and conviction
  • fit as a fiddle
  • hearth and home
  • kit and kaboodle
  • life and limb
  • now or never
  • spick and span
  • vim and vigor
  • zig and zag
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1  
I'd say it's "spic and span"... but probably a regional difference. –  user730 Dec 13 '10 at 3:47
    
@J.M.: to me (from the UK), spick is the spelling in this idiom, while spic is an ethnic slur (though against which ethnic group, I’m honestly not sure). –  PLL Dec 13 '10 at 4:03
    
Ah, then it is indeed a regional difference. :) I'm aware of that nasty connotation of "spic", but that came much later than "spic and span" if my memory of the etymology is correct. –  user730 Dec 13 '10 at 4:08
    
@DLL: Spic is an ethnic slur for Hispanics. –  Scott Mitchell Feb 9 '11 at 0:15
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Now spick really does not get used other than in that idiom. I can't think alack is used independently much either. –  Orbling Feb 9 '11 at 1:06
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Filling in some letters joshdick missed:

  • Dearly departed
  • Goodness gracious (thanks for the tip)
  • jump for joy
  • mop and maw (a child making a face)
  • pride and prejudice
  • road rage

And some duplicates:

  • Always avoid alliteration
  • hems and haws
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1  
Suggestion: "Goodness gracious" is probably more common than "God is gracious". –  gkrogers Nov 6 '10 at 0:03
    
@gk: you forgot "great balls of fire". :D –  user730 Dec 13 '10 at 3:48
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Just for the sake of filling out the alphabet (this answer is community wiki, so please help where I’m still coming up blank):

  • each and every;
  • I?
  • over and out
  • Q?
  • time and tide, top and tail
  • up and under(?)
  • warp and weft (or woof); wax and wane; world wide web…
  • X?
  • Yin and Yang; you and yours.

Of course, alliteration is really about phonemes not letters (as the OP exemplifies with cheap and cheerful), so we should really try to collect more than just the alphabet:

  • short, sharp shock
  • through thick and thin
  • then and there
  • whys and wherefores (depending on dialect, this may or may not deserve separation from the other w’s above)
  • trick or treat
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I'd give almost anything to see some alliteration under "X"... :D –  user730 Dec 13 '10 at 3:49
    
How about some "zh"? –  SamB Feb 11 '11 at 6:20
    
@SamB: sadly, zh doesn’t occur word-initially in English — along with ng and a few of our other more temperamental consonants… –  PLL Feb 11 '11 at 6:24
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A few others come to mind:

  • Kith and kin
  • Head over heels

The latter should evoke someone tumbling, usually in love, but most of our heads are normally above our heels. Perhaps the phrase should be "heels over head in love."

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  • Black is Beautiful
  • Terrible twos
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@Scott Mitchell: I missed the request for alliterations in the title. This answer has been updated. –  oosterwal Feb 9 '11 at 3:59
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