What is a word to describe a phrase such as "Anything can happen", which is often made in reference to baseball. This is frequently said, but "platitude" and "cliche" aren't the right terms. What type of phrase is this?

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    Why is cliché not the right term? – Hot Licks Feb 13 '16 at 1:18
  • (And, besides, "anything can happen" refers to Wednesday, not baseball.) – Hot Licks Feb 13 '16 at 1:21

Of the many synonyms on offer, adage is a good fit:

A proverb or short statement expressing a general truth


It can be described as a set phrase:

  • (grammar) A common expression whose wording is not subject to variation.



I would say that such phrases are hackneyed, which the OED defines as:

7a. To make common by indiscriminate everyday usage; to render too familiar, vulgar, trite, or commonplace. Also with out, about, upon.

But I also see them as platitudes and clichés.


You might be referring to an idiom:

"...a phrase or a fixed expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal, meaning. [...] There are thousands of idioms, and they occur frequently in all languages."


Saying - A common phrase or expression, esp. a proverb, a maxim, an adage (OED).


I'm rather fond of colloquialism

a word or expression used in casual language by common people.



You might want to call it pat phrase.

"as we speak" is a pat phrase that means "at this very moment" or "right now." The Grammar Exchange

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