Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Cliché: has egg on his face

Meaning: appears foolish. Meaning.
Rewrite 1: has mud on his dress shoes
Rewrite 2: wears his shirts inside out
Rewrite 3: has holes on the knees in his slacks
Rewrite 4: has yesterday’s spinach on his teeth

Comment: These rewrites might sound more like sloppy dressing, so some context might help solidify them. For instance, you might say something like “has holes in his Sunday-best slacks” or “went to work with his sweater inside out.” Of course, the more you have to say to get the point across the less effective it is as a metaphor.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Tired of clichés and stereotypes in advertising. Title says it best.

Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Cliché: easy as 123

Meaning: so very easy or simple. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: easier than counting the fingers on one hand
Rewrite 2: easier than pushing the
buttons on a phone
Rewrite 3: easier than
first-grade arithmetic
Rewrite 4: easier than left and right

Comment: The first three rewrites stay with simple numbers; the fourth rewrite goes beyond numbers to other simple concepts to suggest the versatility of simplicity. Watch for “easy as ABC” for more simplifications.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Sam Goldwyn Quotes: “Let’s have some new clichés …”

Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.


Check out the new alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Cliché: a drop in the bucket

Meaning: a very tiny part of the whole. Mentions and uses.
Rewrite 1: a cherry in the orchard
Rewrite 2: a leaf in the forest
Rewrite 3: a straw in the
bale
Rewrite 4: a droplet in the ocean

Comment: Scale is the important issue here. We’re not talking just a cherry in the pie, but one in the whole orchard. It might as well be a star in the galaxy.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Macsimum News: “’Supercross’ runs on clichés.”

Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Cliché: yank your chain

Meaning: do or say something to rile you. Meanings. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: pull your
collarn3a tight
Rewrite 2: slap you on the back of your head
Rewrite 3:
topple your card stack
Rewrite 4: upset your dominoes

Comment: Similar to my previous entry, rattle your cage, except this one might be more provocative. The fourth rewrite may be obscure – I want you to envision a series of dominoes set vertically to fall over (only when finished lining them up) and create a design or pattern.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
HeraldNet: “Avoid this festival of clichés.”

Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Cliché: rattle your cage

Meaning: make you upset or unnerve you
Rewrite 1: shake your bed
Rewrite 2:
ruffle1a your hair
Rewrite 3: light a firecracker under your chair
Rewrite 4:
spooktv2 you through your widow at night

Comment: Here I’m emphasizing irritating behavior. “Tickle you silly” might work, too.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Clichés: “Clichés wanna play a game?”

Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Cliché: my brain is fried

Meaning: I’m maxed out. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: my brain is
toast*
Rewrite 2: my head is
dopedadj2
Rewrite 3: I’m numb from the brain stem up
Rewrite 4: my brain is running on
fumes*
*scroll down for entry

Comment: Although I have kept the metaphor to the brain, you could also use the heart, the soul, and – depending on your topic – other parts of the body or material objects.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Taipei Times: “Clichés and worse in Rani Manicka novel about Bali.”

Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cliché: …I’ll eat my hat

Meaning: verify my certainty that a specified thing is true, often stated in "either-or" or "if-then" terms. Meaning and examples.
Rewrite 1: …I’ll eat my shoes
Rewrite 2: …I’ll eat my dog (or cat or bird)
Rewrite 3: …I’ll lock up and leave town
Rewrite 4: …I’ll date the devil

Comment: In these rewrites I’ve tried to emphasize the silly or sensational to suggest being wrong is so unlikely that I’m willing to do something really absurd if it turns out I am wrong. Doesn’t that sound like a few people you know?

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
No partner, and other clichés: “Israel’s never had a peace partner because it refuses to be a peace partner.”

Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.

Check out the new alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cliché: cost an arm and a leg

Meaning: cost dearly. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: cost an eye and an ear
Rewrite 2: cost you your left
nostril
Rewrite 3: cost a hand full of fingers and toes
Rewrite 4: fee is your car and the garage it sleeps in
Rewrite 5: cost you half your sense of humor and all your good looks

Comment: I’m trying for a little humor here, but all of its applications won’t be happy ones.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Halfvalue.com Books: Popular titles on clichés.

Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.

Check out the new alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Cliché: waiting for the dust to settle

Meaning: waiting for things to calm down. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: waiting for the
gale to calmtiv
Rewrite 2: waiting for the
seas to settle4
Rewrite 3: waiting for calmer waters
Rewrite 4: looking for traffic to clear
Rewrite 5: hoping the sun will shine soon

Comment: These represent a lot of weather-related motifs, but I’m sure you can think of lots of others. Let me know what you come up with.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
A Sept 11 story without the clichés: “Eisenberg's collection justifies her reputation as the American Alice Munro.”

Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cliché: raking in the money (or dough)

Meaning: making money fast. Use examples: money; dough.
Rewrite 1:
raking in the riches
Rewrite 2: haulingvi2 in the cash
Rewrite 3:
trucking in the dough
Rewrite 4: making money by the
bulldozern1 load
Rewrite 5: picking cash from the trees

Comment: Think big volumes and easy transport. Rewrite 5 is a play on the cliché “Money doesn’t grow on trees” – this says, “Sometimes it seems to, and I’m grabbing it as fast as I can.”

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
August 12, 2001: “…Wordmaster – the language of clichés.”
Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Cliché: on track

Meaning: right where you’re supposed to be
Rewrite 1: on the
curve
Rewrite 2: on the
line
Rewrite 3: on the right road
Rewrite 4: within city limits
Rewrite 5: on your way to the
bull’s-eye3a

Comment: It can be easy to get “off track” when rewriting this one. Depending on the situation you’re describing, there’s room for humor but in most cases you will probably be talking seriously.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
The Mighty Middle: “Clichés – one right, one left: War and God.”

Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Cliché: a knockoff

Meaning: an unauthorized copy. Meaning and examples.
Rewrite 1: a rip-off
replica2
Rewrite 2: a designer double
Rewrite 3: a copycat copy
Rewrite 4: a not-quite original
Rewrite 5: a faux naturel (Fr.)

Comment: My emphasis here is tongue-in-cheek – or is that tongue-in-chic? Rewrite 5 is meant as a play on words (au natural) to imply something that is not of nature or of an original. What do you think – does it work?

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Quotes Central: “Clichés Quotes.”
Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cliché: eat lead!

Meaning: take this! (shooting) Use examples.
Rewrite 1: eat bullets
Rewrite 2: taste
lead5
Rewrite 3: chew some metal
Rewrite 4:
sniff some gun powder
Rewrite 5: one
lead5 truffle -- to go

Comment: The temptation here is to sound like a sound bite from a 40’s or 50’s B-grade gangster movie.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Chuckleheads and Clichés: What the hordes of journalists are likely to write about China as the world prepares for the 2008 Olympics. (Scroll past the photo.)
Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cliché: dumber than a box of rocks

Meaning: very dumb. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: dumber than a box of nails
Rewrite 2: dumber than a pound of cheese
Rewrite 3: dumber than a car with no wheels
Rewrite 4: no smarter than a dozen eggs

Comment: This one is an easy rewrite – let your imagination soar.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
The Wayne Effect: “…was slightly inspired from that Top 15 Music Video clichés thing on MTV.”
(Note: By providing links to other websites I am only showing you what is out there about clichés – I am not endorsing any content or opinion expressed there.)

Check out the new alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cliché: an uphill battle

Meaning: a difficult or extreme challenge
Rewrite 1: a challenge of Everest proportions
Rewrite 2: a battle requiring more fighting spirit than an Iraqi
warlord could muster
Rewrite 3: a
fray that would make X-gamers cower
Rewrite 4: an over-the-battlements, under-the-footingsn4, around-the-gates challenge

Comment: These rewrites may bring to mind excessive force rather than difficulty.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Samuel Goldwyn Quotes: “Samuel Goldwyn’s Lets have some new clichés.”

Check out the new alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cliché: throw gasoline on the fire

Meaning: intensify a problem. Use examples.
Rewrite 1:
extinguish the fire with gasoline
Rewrite 2: cool the burn with rubbing alcohol
Rewrite 3: melt road ice with a bucket of water
Rewrite 4: add name-calling to the argument

Comment: This one was harder to rewrite or recast than I thought it would be. Maybe it’s because you have to think of things you would never do, like throwing gasoline on a fire. What you end up with are things that sound unreasonable or counterintuitive.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Quotes for Gardeners: Clichés: “Weather, Climate, Clichés…” and more.

Check out the new alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cliché: paint yourself into a corner

Meaning: stick yourself into a place you can easily get out of. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: nailed yourself inside a shipping
crate
Rewrite 2: shut yourself up in the
trunk2a(2)
Rewrite 3: built yourself into a
closet with no door
Rewrite 4: locked yourself up in a
safen1

Comment: How many ways can you cause yourself grief? That’s the question.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
The After Party: The Clichés: “…I hate the clichés people throw out.”

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Cliché: I wasn't born yesterday

Meaning: I’m not naïve or stupid. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: I didn’t leave my brain at home
Rewrite 2: I’m not fresh out of
hick high school
Rewrite 3: I didn’t just graduate from kindergarten
Rewrite 4: I did
pass15 the class in simple smarts
Rewrite 5: I’m not a Little Red Riding Hood in the forest

Comment: The tendency is to comment on education versus smarts, but both apply to this cliché, as do comments on naiveté, innocence, and provincialism.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Monterey Aquarium Clichés: “This is a group for pictures of the Monterey Aquarium jellyfish and circular anchovy displays.”

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Cliché: fighting like cats and dogs

Meaning: fighting viciously. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: fighting like
in-laws
Rewrite 2: warring like Turks and Kurds
Rewrite 3: fighting like a
bout for Last Man Standing
Rewrite 4: scuffling like cats with their tails tied together

Comment: There aren’t a lot of synonyms for “fighting,” so we’re kind of stuck with it. You’ll find more room to work with the warring parties.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Why Clichés Are So Annoying: “Corrente Blog about politics and culture.”

Check out the new alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cliché: to deep six something

(entered for 02.09.06)

Meaning: to bury or eliminate something. Meaning and uses.
Rewrite 1:
filetv1 it six feet under
Rewrite 2: give it a decent burial
Rewrite 3:
plant it in the graveyard
Rewrite 4: file it under “memorial park”

Comment: Another meaning is burial at sea, although I don’t think that’s as common as simply burial.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Kids Running: “Children enjoy learning what clichés mean.”

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Cliché: you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube

(entered for 02.08.06)

Meaning: once something is “out” you can’t contain it.
Use examples.
Rewrite 1: you can’t un-
squeeze the toothpaste
Rewrite 2: toothpaste – once it’s
outadj it’s out!
Rewrite 3: you can never get the toy back in the box the way it came
Rewrite 4: you can’t force the
ointment back in the tuben2

Comment: Here we pretty much talk about toothpaste, but they apply to other gooey substances like space food and ointment.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
The Good Web Guide Website Review: “The Movies Cliché List.”

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cliché: take a picture, it will last longer

(entered for 02.07.06)

Meaning: make it permanent so you can stop staring at it. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: take a picture and post it on your
desktop
Rewrite 2: want me to draw a
sketch of it so the image lasts a while longer?
Rewrite 3: I’d be glad to
burniv12 a picture of it on the back of your eyeballs
Rewrite 4: why not do a
brass rubbing of the scene so its permanent etched in your mind?

Comment: This cliché takes on the sarcastic, so I tried to stay with that theme as I rewrote it.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Arrgh!: “Those stupid Internet Marketing Clichés are true.”

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Cliché: nice guys finish last

(entered for 02.06.06)

Meaning: the original pretty much says it. Uses and mentions.
Rewrite 1: nice guys get pushed to the back
Rewrite 2: nice guys won’t cheat to win
Rewrite 3: nice guys may not win the race but they often
take the day
Rewrite 4: bullies push to lead the pack but often
wimp out to lose the race

Comment: Someone in management once said this to me, but I’ve proved him wrong over the years. Nice guys often finish well ahead of last and occasionally take first.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Smizik: Hokey clichés come true for WVU: “The team that wouldn't quit, wouldn't be denied.”

Check out the new alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

(Note: The following two Cliches-a-Day were entered on 02.04.06 but mysteriously disappeared on 02.07.06 when I entered the next two days' worth of cliches. My apologies. Wordsworth.)

Cliché: Kick some butt (or ass)

(entered for 02.05.06)

Meaning: beat up on someone. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: stomp someone’s behindn
Rewrite 2: blast yer ass
Rewrite 3: lay a mean fist on you
Rewrite 4: fill your nostrils with knuckles1a

Comment: The second rewrite is more colloquial, while the fourth rewrite is more lyrical. There are lots of unique ways to issue such a threat. Also, in rewrite 4, I was trying to infer hitting the nose with a fist, so the definitions I’ve linked to may not define the terms as well as I would have hoped.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I googled “clichés”:
Clichés Gifts: “Gifts from the CartoonStock directory.”

Check out the new alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Cliché: hold your horses

(entered for 02.04.06)

Meaning: don’t be in such a hurry.
Use examples.
Rewrite 1: slow to a
gallop
Rewrite 2: this is no time for a
stampede
Rewrite 3: stop the
flood before it can start
Rewrite 4: put your engine on
idleiv3

Comment: It isn’t just animals that are in a hurry, so feel encouraged to vary the metaphor, be creative.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
TechRepublicBlog: “Worst clichés of 2005.”

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Cliché: the cat's meow

(entered for 02.03.06)

Meaning: the sound or sign that someone or something is happy. Other uses.
Rewrite 1: the cat’s
purr
Rewrite 2: the dog’s woof
Rewrite 3: the child’s giggle
Rewrite 4: the adult’s smile

Comment: How many animals can you substitute in here? A horse's neigh, a pig's squeal, a cow's moo. You get the idea.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Zombie Story Clichés: The title pretty much says it.

Check out the new alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Cliché: you can't fit a square peg in a round hole

(entered for 02.02.06)

Meaning: you can’t apply everything to the same circumstances. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: you can’t force an X-shaped letter into a Y-shaped hole
Rewrite 2: you can’t pick an peach from an apple tree
Rewrite 3: you can’t strap a horse saddle on an ox
Rewrite 4: you can’t fit a 2-inch peg in a 1-inch hole

Comment: There are lots of ways to look at this – as shapes, sizes, kinds of things, and so on.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Animal Proverbs, Clichés, Quotes and More: “…fun stuff that I [writer] came across while researching.”

Check out the new alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Cliché: right up your alley

Meaning: suits your taste or abilities. Origins.
Rewrite 1: right down your
street
Rewrite 2: knocking at your
doorn2
Rewrite 3: a page out of your book
Rewrite 4: fits you like a
suit

Comment: Nothing very spectacular here. The main thing is to think of ways to say it fits you like no other or few others. In rewrite 4, I wanted to convey the sense of a piece of clothing tailored to fit you, unique to you.

More reading about clichés
What I found when I
googled “clichés”:
Film Clichés: “Cars that crash will almost always burst into film…”

Check out the new
alphabetical list of all my cliché rewrites available in the archive list at the right. To search the page using Internet Explorer, just go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, select “Find”, then enter the cliché or a word from it.