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Cliches

cliche (or cliché, with the French accent mark—both spellings are accepted)  is an expression that has been overused to the point of triteness. While avoiding them is usually a good idea, a cliche may occasionally be just what you need to convey a very specific meaning. But before deciding to use a cliche, first make sure that (1) there’s no better nontrite alternative, and (2) that the cliche is not an especially stale or overused one.

Trendy cliches are best avoided. For example, at the time of this writing, throw under the bus, perfect storm, and drink the kool-aid have been big for a few years. When you use a phrase like these, you only add to the expression’s oversaturation.

This list of cliches is a work in progress. We will be adding to it continually.

A

All bets are off
At the end of the day

B

C

D

Deer in the headlights
Down the drain
Drink the kool-aid

E

F

First and foremost

G

H

I

In a nutshell

J

K

Kill two birds with one stone

L

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Last but not least

M

Make ends meet

N

O

P

Perfect storm

Q

R

S

Stem the tide

T

Throw under the bus
Trials and tribulations

U

V

W

When hell freezes over
Wide range of
Wide variety of
Words can’t express

X

Y

Z

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