0

You know when someone just repeats a cliché phrase to you? Something like "well that's the way the cookie crumbles" or "a penny saved is a penny earned" or "there's plenty of fish in the sea"?

I know there's a word for a (mostly meaningless) idiom/expression that is repeated ad nauseum. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

I will edit this post further with clarifications if necessary.

EDIT: The word I was looking for (platitude) had meaning more along the lines of "repeated so often it has lost any meaning". Katherine Lockwood picked out the word in the comments below

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, Phil Sweet, Drew, NVZ, Mitch Dec 19 '16 at 4:10

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    you said it already: cliché. – Mitch Dec 16 '16 at 18:02
  • 1
    Yes, please do edit, because the word that first comes to mind to me is cliché, which you use at the beginning of your post. – Katherine Lockwood Dec 16 '16 at 18:02
  • 4
    Platitude, bromide, potboiler (which I only ever heard my grandmother say) ... the thesaurus is good for these kinds of questions. – Katherine Lockwood Dec 16 '16 at 18:03
  • 2
    Platitude! That's what I was thinking of. I think I will try to edit the prompt so that it aims more towards the answer. Apologies for being confusing; I just couldn't think of the word – Mahkoe Dec 16 '16 at 18:06
  • 1
    If you want to be even more "scathing, withering" in emphasising the meaninglessness, you could call them vapidities. – FumbleFingers Dec 16 '16 at 19:06
3

A thesaurus.com search on synonyms for "cliché" yields some likely candidates. I plucked out the ones that seem most likely to have the meaning you want:

bromide, platitude, potboiler (which I have only ever heard my grandmother say).

They each have similar meanings in Merriam-Webster, except potboiler, which is a bit different:

bromide: a commonplace or hackneyed statement or notion

platitude: a banal, trite, or stale remark

potboiler: a usually inferior work (as of art or literature) produced chiefly for profit

One of these words may meet your needs.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.