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

  • 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

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.

| improve this answer | |

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