I was wondering if there is a phrase for everyday (daily) life in literature?

I am from Germany and the only one I know is "Slice of life" but I'm not sure if it's common.

Why I need to know: I'm reading a novel Why we broke up and it's about nothing extraordinary but just a relationship between a boy and a girl - and I described it as "everyday-lifestyle" - but when I showed it to an English native speaker, he didn't know what I meant.

  • 1
    I don't know about literature, but the long-running UK radio soap-opera, The Archers, is tagged "an everyday story of country folk."
    – Mick
    Jan 2, 2017 at 12:46
  • Hey thanks for your fast reply! I'm not quite sure if this applies to literature since I'm looking for a generic description
    – Dsap1912
    Jan 2, 2017 at 12:48
  • You could say your book deals with the mundanities of life, or depicts a mundane existence. Jan 2, 2017 at 12:58
  • Wow well that's really a good phrase! Thanks a lot!!
    – Dsap1912
    Jan 2, 2017 at 13:03
  • 1
    'everyday life' is how one normally says it. 'everyday lifestyle' probably threw them; 'lifestyle' is the particular way one leads ones entire life, both everyday and in special circumstances.
    – Mitch
    Jan 2, 2017 at 15:34

5 Answers 5


That novel is a contemporary (young adult) realistic fiction romance. (It's "one of the most talked-about romances in teen literature"–Kirkus Reviews).

Little, Brown, the publisher of Why We Broke Up classifies it as Realistic Fiction. This genre does not include fantasy, so Harry Potter, vampires and zombies are not included within it.

Good Books lists many young adult realistic fiction romances.

Study.com defines Realistic fiction:

Realistic fiction is a genre consisting of stories that could have actually occurred to people or animals in a believable setting. These stories resemble real life, and fictional characters within these stories react similarly to real people. Stories that are classified as realistic fiction have plots that highlight social or personal events or issues that mirror contemporary life, such as falling in love, marriage, finding a job, divorce, alcoholism, etc. They depict our world and our society.

Characteristics of realistic fiction include

  1. Realistic fiction stories tend to take place in the present or recent past.
  2. Characters are involved in events that could happen.
  3. Characters live in places that could be or are real.
  4. The characters seem like real people with real issues solved in a realistic way (so say goodbye to stories containing vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, dragons, zombies, etc.).
  5. The events portrayed in realistic fiction conjure questions that a reader could face in everyday life.
  • 2
    +1 I think my daughter is reading this, but hard to tell as the names are different in Spanish and German. I am not sure if I want my daughter reading something that does not have zombies, vampires, werewolves, or magic in it. ;-) Feb 1, 2017 at 21:49

Daily grind - A daily routine of work or activity, especially as considered to be dull or tiresomely repetitious; the usual day's work or routine, regarded as unremitting and laborious.


We are but warriors for the working day

Henry V, Act 4, Scene 3, comes to mind. :-)


You should consider (daily/everyday) humdrum/routine.


humdrum NOUN

[mass noun] Monotonous routine:
‘an escape from the humdrum of his life’

‘Just watching them and thinking that there had to be something more in this life for all of us than the everyday humdrum.’

routine NOUN

1 A sequence of actions regularly followed:
‘I settled down into a routine of work and sleep’

‘Almost as routine as brushing one's teeth, checking e-mail has worked its way into the daily routine of millions.’


Sounds like typical boy meets girl.

a typical romantic situation or story about two people falling in love

All the plots of this week’s new movies are boy meets girl.

-- MacMillan


The fancy word is quotidian. Oxford Living Dictionaries

Ordinary or everyday; mundane:

Example: his story is an achingly human one, mired in quotidian details

From Etymonline

(mid-14c., "everyday, daily," from Old French cotidian (Modern French quotidien), from Latin quotidianus "daily," from Latin quotus "how many? which in order or number?" (see quote (v.)) + dies "day" (see diurnal). Meaning "ordinary, commonplace, trivial" is from mid-15c)

The OP's phrase everyday-lifestyle is fine. I am surprised that the person he/she was speaking to did not understand it! That person certainly would not understand quotidian, but the OP's English teacher will.

There is also a medical usage, which the OP should be aware of The Oxford English Dictionary:

Recurring or occurring every day, spec. at twenty-four-hour intervals; (of a disease, esp. malaria) characterized by paroxysms recurring at this interval.

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