Clichés

One of the most dangerous traps a writer can fall into — especially a beginning writer — is the use of clichés. Clichés are overused expressions that have lost their freshness and vitality. Chances are, if you hear a new expression more than once among your friends, it has already reached the status of a cliché — and it should be avoided like the plague (!! CLICHE ALERT!!). We’ve included a list of clichés on this page site that should be avoided, but the list is not complete. You can probably add to it yourself.

a bolt from the blue
a good time was had by all
abreast of the times
accidents will happen
adds a note of
after all has been said and done
agree to disagree
all bad
all in a day’s work
all-out effort
all too seen
among those present
an impressive sight
any way, shape, or form
as a matter of fact
as luck would have it
at long last
at one fell swoop
augurs well
bated breath
beamed approval
beat a hasty retreat
beginning of the end
better half
bigger and better
bitter dispute
bitter end
bloody riot
bold bandits
bone of contention
breakneck speed
breathless silence
broad daylight
burning question
busy as a bee
but first
by leaps and bounds
cheerfully accepted
conservative estimate
crisp bill
crying need
crystal clear
cut a long story short
deafening crash
doing as well as can be expected
doomed to disappointment
dull sickening thud
each and every
easier said than done
efforts were intensified
everything went smoothly
far-reaching inquiry
feeling ran high
few and far between
food for thought
foreseeable future
general public
generous to a fault
glowing account
goes without saying
green as grass
grind to a halt
have the privilege
head over heels
hopefully
in a dazed condition
in close proximity to
in his new position
in no uncertain terms
in the aftermath of
in the limelight
in the nick of time
large and enthusiastic audience
last but not least
leave no stone unturned
leaves much to be desired
legion
like a plague
lion’s share
lodged in jail
looking on
made good his escape
make ends meet
many and various
meets the eye
met head on
mystery surrounds
needs no introduction
never in the history of
never rains but it pours
news leaked out
nipped in the bud
no uncertain terms
nose to the grindstone
order out of chaos
other things being equal
picture of health
pillar of the community
point with pride
powers that be
present day
pretty as a picture
proud possessor
proves conclusively
rains cats and dogs
raise its ugly head
reached the destination
received an ovation
reigns supreme
reliable source
ripe old age
rising tide of

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About Jim Stovall

Jim Stovall, a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker and beekeeper -- among others things.

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