Is there a term for someone who uses idioms (e.g. right off the bat, lowest hanging fruit, living under a rock) excessively (but correctly)?

To clarify the confusion in the comments: I'm referring to someone who in addition to speaking idiomatically (ie like native speakers do), uses idioms far more often than the average native speaker does.

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    You mean someone who speaks idiomatically? – Tushar Raj Jun 18 '15 at 4:38
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    The keyword here is "excessively" to the point of annoying the listeners. – Mansour Jun 18 '15 at 6:46
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    @Eilia speaking in idioms is not the same as speaking idiomatically. – phoog Jun 18 '15 at 8:32
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    I suspect that you don’t mean someone who speaks idiomatically (that means someone who speaks the language like native speakers do), but rather someone who excessively uses fixed phrases and clichéd sayings and proverbs in their speech, right? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 18 '15 at 12:13
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    Idiomaniac perhaps ? – 0.. Jun 18 '15 at 14:11

The examples you give are not just idioms but clichés, i.e., stale and thus moribund metaphors. One who utters them to excess is a cliché-monger. The term is not a common one but is listed in the OED, with two examples from 1947 & 1962, though without its own explicit definition.

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    +1 . The greatest of all students of clichés was James Joyce, whose Ulysses has a 72-page section that consists of almost nothing else. – Misti Jun 18 '15 at 14:56

You could probably use stylistically.

If a person uses many figures of speech(for ex: idioms, similes, metaphors), you can say that he speaks stylistically.

You can also say, "He speaks pompously" if you know that the person you're referring to is egotistic and uses flowery language to show off his knowledge.

Extravagance in speech also refers to the same idea(but has a slight negative connotation).


A hack:


1 A writer or journalist producing dull, unoriginal work:

The word could easily extend from its normal usage for writing to cover all forms of hackneyed communication:


(Of a phrase or idea) having been overused;

Whether he is writing or talking, Joe is a hack, who can't weave two original words together in a sentence.


How's this:

A colorful speaker?

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    In the context of language, colorful is a euphemism for vulgar. – Tushar Raj Jun 18 '15 at 12:23
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    @Tushar yes but not necessarily. It can just mean very expressive. – Mitch Jun 18 '15 at 14:15
  • 'colorful' sounds like a compliment, but the OP is looking for something towards the negative side. – Mitch Jun 18 '15 at 14:45
  • @Mitch. Ah. Okay, I'll change that to "overly colorful." – aparente001 Jul 11 '15 at 23:14

The things you are describing are figures of speech. A person who uses a lot of figures of speech speaks figuratively.



  • of the nature of or involving a figure of speech, especially a metaphor; metaphorical and not literal
  • abounding in or fond of figures of speech.
  • This is a comment, not an answer. Also, whether you want to classify them as cliches, idioms, or figures of speech it doesn't really change OPs question. – mfoy_ Jun 18 '15 at 15:33

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