Thursday, April 08, 2010

Cliché: can't squeeze blood out of a turnip

Meaning: You can't get something from a thing that doesn't have it (example)

Rewrite 1: can't squeeze orange juice out of an apple
Rewrite 2: can't squeeze milk out of barn wood
Rewrite 3: can't make a stack of nickels out of a pile of nails
Rewrite 4: can't tap maple syrup from an oak stump
Rewrite 5: can't tap the stream of a bottomless well

Comments: This cliché is usually said of trying to get money or value from someone who is broke or without resources; however, it is also said of trying to tap other resources that don't exist or make something of another thing that doesn't make sense. I've attempted to address all those senses.

I'm on Twitter, so come say hello: @a_copywriter

Need to add some humor to your writing?
(commission may be paid for purchases)


Unknown said...

Can't get a nun to swear like a hip hop star.

Booksville Bookclub said...

That's the spirit! Can't squeeze a nun out of a bad habit...

Unknown said...

I'm not sure "blood from a turnip" is common enough to be considered a cliche. But situations are fun to write. I appreciate these new phrases.