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Questions tagged [cliche]

To discuss clichés: overused phrases which have lost meaning

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23
votes
2answers
3k views

“pros and cons”, “black and white”, “ups and downs”. Always in a fixed sequence, is there a word or phrase for these?

Is there a word or phrase for two nouns or adjectives joined by a conjunction (usually "and") in a fixed sequence? alive and well fast and furious hat and gloves pen and pencil ...
24
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is “head over heels” used as if it were exceptional rather than commonplace?

Most people spend part of each day standing, and if they have normal anatomy their heads are over their heels in this position. Even sitting or lying down, the head is higher than the heels (if not ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the origin of the phrase “blue moon”? Any alternate phrase for it?

Was just wondering how this phrase came into being? Was it inspired from some natural or astronomical observation? or is it the result of poetic imagination?
15
votes
6answers
20k views

“Just sayin” what?

What are people trying to imply by using the phrase "just saying"? It sometimes seems they are trying to lessen the negative impact of a prior statement, or perhaps adding legitimacy to it. Perhaps it ...
11
votes
11answers
20k views

What on Earth does “cheap at half the price” mean?

I hear this all the time, "cheap at half the price", to indicate that something is cheap (mostly in an ironic sense, but often used literally), but it makes no sense to me. Of course, if something ...
5
votes
2answers
912 views

Is there a reference book that lists words by usage or theme?

Similar to how a thesaurus lists synonyms, is there a book that groups words (or phrases) together by conceptual usage? For example, this question is looking for words that describe a person's ...