Friday, September 14, 2012

That is SO Cliche!

Recently I was hopping around the blog-o-sphere and came across a great list from Writer's Digest.

Here's what they listed on their blog:

1. Avoid it like the plague
2. Dead as a doornail
3. Take the tiger by the tail
4. Low hanging fruit
5. If only walls could talk
6. The pot calling the kettle black
7. Think outside the box
8. Thick as thieves
9. But at the end of the day
10. Plenty of fish in the sea
11. Every dog has its day
12. Like a kid in a candy store

Now ... I love lists like this, because frankly, sometimes I don't know when I am using a cliche. (I can be slow.)

But the comments were even greater than the original list. (Click here if you want to read them ALL.)

Here's just a sampling:

tip of the iceberg
green with envy
fifteen minutes of fame
hit the sack/hay

crazy as a fox
feel like death warmed over
everyday life
cool as a cucumber
let’s get busy
OK, show’s over, nothing to see here
It’s not over til the fat lady sings
Hi, howya doin’?
dog tired
sick as a dog

at the end of the day
a bitter pill to swallow
the weight of the world
raining cats and dogs
loose as a goose
drunk as a monkey
sober as a judge
dumb as a post (or rock)
party animal
older than dirt
where’s a cop when you need one?

What cliche do you love/hate to see in books?


  1. There are a couple of cliches here I've never heard before: 'low hanging fruit' being one of them!

    The one I really can't stand is 'think outside the box'. Doesn't make any sense to me, and sounds so pretentious. But I quite like 'hit the sack'!

  2. "Heart stood still"...and all the common variations.

    Great list. Thanks.

  3. Some of those I wouldn't really think of as "cliches," but yeah, they're really over used.

  4. Instead of dumber than dirt I like number than a hake :)

  5. Hi, Margo,
    Like many other writers, I try to avoid cliches, however, I do allow my characters to use familiar phrases in conversation since we humans do it all the time. Not to say I'm advocating going overboard. Good reminders!

  6. Nice list. I've seen lists like that surface before, but it's always a good reminder.

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