Tuesday, April 23, 2013

cliché: be there or be square

Meaning: direction to conform or be out of step with the cool people (definition).

Example: Dude, everybody who’s anybody will be at the party – be there or be square!

Origins: Its roots evolved over the last couple of centuries, but the cliché takes root in 1940s-50s with jazz as a reference to the square as something that followed an established order turned into one that was confined by that order and not “with it” or “cool.” (Source 1. Source 2.)

  • be there or be contraire
  • be there or lose your cool
  • be there or be drool
  • be there or be outta here
  • be there or never be here
  • be one of us or never be one of us
  • come along to get along

Discussion: There is a lot of room to work with here for a rewrite. There is the rhyme, coolness, conformity, inclusion – this cliché is rich with opportunity for rework.

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