Cliches to Avoid

Cliches to Avoid

A cliche is is an expression that was once fresh, became popular, and is now worn-out and does not produce the same impact it used to. It is generally a good idea to avoid cliches in your writing.

A List of Common Cliches

  • at first glance
  • at first blush
  • as a nation
  • as a society
  • upon deeper reflection
  • is not alone
  • is no exception
  • pundits say
  • Critics say
  • critics are quick to point out
  • offers a rare window
  • opens a rare window
  • begs the question
  • Be that as it may
  • If you will.
  • A cautionary tale
  • Cautiously optimistic
  • Needless to say
  • Suffice it to say
  • This is not your father's
  • 2.0
  • At a crossroads
  • The powers that be
  • Outside the box
  • A favorite Washington parlor game
  • Don't get me wrong
  • Make no mistake
  • Yes
  • Virginia
  • there is a
  • Christmas came early for
  • Chock full
  • Last-ditch effort
  • Cue the
  • Call it luck
  • Pity the poor
  • Time will tell if
  • What a difference a day makes
  • What a difference a week makes
  • What a difference a month makes
  • What a difference a year makes
  • Palpable sense of relief
  • Sigh of relief
  • Plenty of blame to go around
  • Rorschach test
  • An object lesson
  • Turned a blind eye
  • Underscores
  • Cycle of violence
  • Searing indictment
  • Broken system
  • system is broken
  • The Other
  • table the talks
  • shuttered the factory
  • Gestalt
  • Zeitgeist
  • Orwellian
  • Machiavellian
  • Gladwellian
  • Oft-cited
  • Little-noticed
  • Closely watched
  • Hastily convened
  • Much ballyhooed
  • ill-advised
  • Shrouded in secrecy
  • Since time immemorial
  • Tipping point
  • Inflection point
  • Point of no return
  • If history is any guide
  • If past is prologue
  • The devil is in the details
  • [Somebody] does not suffer fools gladly
  • A ragtag army
  • A ragtag militia
  • A tale of two
  • Ignominious end
  • Tightly knit
  • In the final analysis
  • Ultimately
  • At the end of the day
  • For all intents and purposes
  • Cooler heads prevailed
  • Victim of her own success
  • Victim of his own success
  • Punditocracy
  • Twitterati
  • Commentariat
  • Chattering classes
  • Naysayers
  • Keen observer
  • Took to Twitter
  • Tongues wagging
  • White-shoe law firm
  • Well-heeled lobbyists
  • Skittish donors
  • Byzantine rules
  • Strange bedfellows
  • A mass of contradictions
  • A land of contradictions
  • Rise of the 24-hour news cycle
  • In the digital age
  • Not so fast
  • Not so much
  • Remains to be seen
  • Tenuous at best
  • Woefully inadequate
  • Or so it seems
  • Depending on whom you ask
  • Burst onto the national political scene
  • -For now
  • Tectonic shifts
  • seismic shifts
  • Feeding frenzy
  • feeding the frenzy
  • Double down
  • Game-changer
  • -gate
  • In the wake of
  • How I learned to stop worrying and love the
  • Love it or hate it
  • we love to hate
  • Don the mantle of
  • Usher in an era of
  • A portrait emerges
  • In a nutshell
  • The social fabric
  • the very fabric of our
  • Hot-button issue
  • Hotly contested
  • Perfect storm
  • Face-saving compromise
  • Eye-popping
  • The argument goes
  • The thinking goes
  • Contrary to popular belief
  • Intoned
  • The new normal
  • The new face of
  • The talk of the town
  • It couple
  • power couple
  • Paradigm shift
  • Unlikely revolutionary
  • Unlikely reformer
  • Grizzled veteran
  • seasoned veteran
  • Manicured lawns
  • Wide-ranging interview
  • Rose from obscurity
  • Dizzying array
  • Withering criticism
  • Predawn raid
  • Nondescript office building
  • Unsung hero
  • Sparked debate
  • Raised questions
  • Raises more questions than answers
  • Raise the specter of
  • More often than not
  • hand-wringing
  • But reality is more complicated
  • truth is more complicated
  • Scarred by war
  • War-torn
  • War of words
  • is heating up
  • Trading barbs
  • Shines a spotlight on
  • is no panacea
  • is no silver bullet
  • Political football
  • Political theater
  • More than you think
  • Less than you think
  • Not as much as you think
  • You guessed it
  • Shifting dynamics
  • The situation is fluid
  • Partisans on both sides
  • Charm offensive
  • Fallen on hard times
  • On thin ice
  • A crisis waiting to happen
  • Poster child
  • Going forward
  • Creature of Washington
  • Official Washington
  • A modest proposal
  • Stinging rebuke
  • goes to Washington
  • The proverbial
  • Fevered speculation
  • Hope filled the air
  • is all the rage
  • Iconic
  • How did we get here?
  • But first
  • some background
  • Growing body of evidence
  • on steroids
  • Resists easy classification
  • Resists easy categorization
  • Increasingly
  • Tapped
  • not unsurprising
  • Wait for it
  • There I said it
  • And here's the kicker
  • See what I did there?
  • American as apple pie
  • I beg to differ
  • Jack of all trades
  • Johnny-come-lately
  • V for victory
  • a chip off the old block
  • a clean slate
  • a dark and stormy night
  • a diamond in the rough
  • a far cry
  • a fine kettle of fish
  • a good soul
  • a kind soul
  • a loose cannon
  • a matter of time
  • a pain in the butt
  • a pain in the neck
  • a penny saved is a penny earned
  • a tough row to hoe
  • a waste of time
  • a word to the wise
  • ace in the hole
  • ace up his sleeve
  • add insult to injury
  • afraid of his own shadow
  • against all odds
  • air your dirty laundry
  • all fun and games
  • all in a day's work
  • all is fair in love and war
  • all is well that ends well
  • all talk
  • all thumbs
  • all your eggs in one basket
  • all's fair in love and war
  • all's well that ends well
  • all's well that ends well
  • almighty dollar
  • an arm and a leg
  • an axe to grind
  • and they all lived happily ever after
  • another day
  • another dollar
  • armed to the teeth
  • as brave as a lion
  • as clever as a fox
  • as luck would have it
  • as meek as a lamb
  • as old as the hills
  • as old as the hills:
  • as old as time
  • as the crow flies
  • at my wits end
  • at the speed of light
  • avoid it like the plague
  • avoid like the plague
  • babe in the woods
  • back against the wall
  • back in the saddle
  • back to square one
  • back to the drawing board
  • bad to the bone
  • badge of honor
  • bald faced liar
  • ballpark figure
  • banging your head against a brick wall
  • baptism by fire
  • bark is worse than her bite
  • barking up the wrong tree
  • bat out of hell
  • be all and end all
  • beat a dead horse
  • beat around the bush
  • bee in her bonnet
  • beggars can't be choosers
  • behind the eight ball
  • bend over backwards
  • benefit of the doubt
  • bent out of shape
  • best thing since sliced bread
  • bet your bottom dollar
  • better half
  • better late than never
  • better mousetrap
  • better safe than sorry
  • between a rock and a hard place
  • between the devil and the deep blue sea
  • beyond the pale
  • bide your time
  • big as life
  • big cheese
  • big fish in a small pond
  • big man on campus
  • bigger they are the harder they fall
  • bird in the hand
  • bird's eye view
  • birds and the bees
  • birds of a feather flock together
  • bit the hand that feeds you
  • bite the bullet
  • bite the dust
  • bitten off more than he can chew
  • black as coal
  • black as pitch
  • black as the ace of spades
  • blast from the past
  • bleeding heart
  • blessing in disguise
  • blind ambition
  • blind as a bat
  • blind leading the blind
  • blood is thicker than water
  • blood sweat and tears
  • blow off steam
  • blow your own horn
  • blushing bride
  • boils down to
  • bone to pick
  • bored stiff
  • bored to tears
  • bottomless pit
  • boys will be boys
  • brave as a lion
  • bright and early
  • brings home the bacon
  • broad across the beam
  • broken record
  • bull by the horns
  • bull in a china shop
  • burn the midnight oil
  • burning question
  • burning the candle at both ends
  • burst your bubble
  • bury the hatchet
  • busy as a bee
  • but at the end of the day
  • but you can't hide
  • by hook or by crook
  • call a spade a spade
  • called onto the carpet
  • calm before the storm
  • can of worms
  • can't cut the mustard
  • can't hold a candle to
  • case of mistaken identity
  • cat got your tongue
  • caught in the crossfire
  • caught red-handed
  • caught with her pants down
  • caught with his pants down
  • caught with their pants down
  • checkered past
  • chip on her shoulder
  • chip on his shoulder
  • chomping at the bit
  • cleanliness is next to godliness
  • clear as a bell
  • clear as mud
  • close to the vest
  • cock and bull story
  • cold shoulder
  • come hell or high water
  • cost a king's ransom
  • count your blessings
  • crack of dawn
  • crash course
  • creature comforts
  • cross that bridge when you come to it
  • cry her eyes out
  • cry like a baby
  • cry me a river
  • crystal clear
  • curiosity killed the cat
  • cut and dried
  • cut through the red tape
  • cut to the chase
  • cute as a bugs ear
  • cute as a button
  • cute as a puppy
  • cuts to the quick
  • dark before the dawn
  • day out day
  • dead as a doornail
  • devil is in the details
  • dime a dozen
  • divide and conquer
  • dog and pony show
  • dog days
  • dog eat dog
  • dog tired
  • don't burn your bridges
  • don't count your chickens before they're hatched
  • don't look a gift horse in the mouth
  • don't rock the boat
  • don't step on anyone's toes
  • don't take any wooden nickels
  • done that been
  • down and out
  • down at the heels
  • down in the dumps
  • down on her luck
  • down on his luck
  • down on their luck
  • down the hatch
  • down to earth
  • draw the line
  • dressed to kill
  • dressed to the nines
  • drives me up the wall
  • dull as dishwater
  • dyed in the wool
  • eagle eye
  • ear to the ground
  • early bird catches the worm
  • earn her keep
  • earn his keep
  • earn their keep
  • easier said than done
  • easy as 1-2-3
  • easy as pie
  • eat your heart out
  • eat your words
  • eleventh hour
  • enough to piss off the Pope
  • even the playing field
  • every cloud has a silver lining
  • every dog has its day
  • every fiber of my being
  • everything but the kitchen sink
  • eye for an eye
  • eyes in the back of her head
  • facts of life
  • fair weather friend
  • fall by the wayside
  • fall head over heals
  • fall head over heels
  • fan the flames
  • feast or famine
  • feather in his cap
  • feather your nest
  • few and far between
  • fifteen minutes of fame
  • filthy vermin
  • fine kettle of fish
  • fish out of water
  • fishing for a compliment
  • fit as a fiddle
  • fit the bill
  • fit to be tied
  • flat as a pancake
  • flip your lid
  • flog a dead horse
  • fly by night
  • fly the coop
  • follow your heart
  • for all intents and purposes
  • for the birds
  • for what it's worth
  • force of nature
  • force to be reckoned with
  • forgive and forget
  • fox in the henhouse
  • free and easy
  • free as a bird
  • fresh as a daisy
  • frightened to death
  • full steam ahead
  • fun in the sun
  • garbage out garbage
  • get a kick out of
  • get a leg up
  • get down and dirty
  • get her back up
  • get his back up
  • get the lead out
  • get their backs up
  • get to the bottom of
  • get your feet wet
  • gets my goat
  • gilding the lily
  • give and take
  • go against the grain
  • go for broke
  • go him one better
  • go the extra mile
  • go with the flow
  • goes without saying
  • good as gold
  • good deed for the day
  • good things come to those who wait
  • good time was had by all
  • greek to me
  • green thumb
  • green-eyed monster
  • grist for the mill
  • growing like a weed
  • gut wrenching pain
  • hair of the dog
  • half a dozen of another
  • hand to mouth
  • happy as a clam
  • hasn't a clue
  • haste makes waste
  • have a nice day
  • have high hopes
  • have the last laugh
  • haven't got a row to hoe
  • head honcho
  • hear a pin drop
  • heard it through the grapevine
  • heart's content
  • heart-stopping fear
  • hem and haw
  • high and dry
  • high and mighty
  • high as a kite
  • hit paydirt
  • hold your head up high
  • hold your horses
  • hold your own
  • hold your tongue
  • honest as the day is long
  • horse of a different color
  • hot under the collar
  • i love you more than life itself
  • icing on the cake
  • if only the walls could talk
  • if only walls could talk
  • if the shoe fits
  • if the shoe were on the other foot
  • in a jam
  • in a jiffy
  • in a nutshell
  • in a pig's eye
  • in a pinch
  • in a word
  • in her element
  • in his element
  • in hot water
  • in over her head
  • in over his head
  • in the gutter
  • in the nick of time
  • in the thick of it
  • in their element
  • in this day and age
  • in your dreams
  • it ain't over till the fat lady sings
  • it goes without saying
  • it takes all kinds
  • it takes one to know one
  • it's a small world
  • it's only a matter of time
  • ivory tower
  • jockey for position
  • jog your memory
  • joined at the hip
  • judge a book by its cover
  • jump down your throat
  • jump in with both feet
  • jump on the bandwagon
  • jump the gun
  • jump to conclusions
  • just the ticket
  • justice is blind
  • keep a stiff upper lip
  • keep an eye on
  • keep it simple
  • keep the home fires burning
  • keep up with the Joneses
  • keep your chin up
  • keep your fingers crossed
  • kick his lights out
  • kick the bucket
  • kick up your heels
  • kick your feet up
  • kid in a candy store
  • kill two birds with one stone
  • kiss of death
  • knock his block off
  • knock it out of the park
  • knock on wood
  • knock your socks off
  • know him from Adam
  • know the ropes
  • know the score
  • knuckle down
  • knuckle sandwich
  • knuckle under
  • labor of love
  • land on your feet
  • lap of luxury
  • last but not least
  • last hurrah
  • last-ditch effort
  • lasted an eternity
  • laughter is the best medicine
  • law of the jungle
  • law of the land
  • lay down the law
  • leaps and bounds
  • let sleeping dogs lie
  • let the cat out of the bag
  • let the good times roll
  • let your hair down
  • let's talk turkey
  • letter perfect
  • lick your wounds
  • lies like a rug
  • life's a bitch
  • life's a grind
  • light at the end of the tunnel
  • lighter than a feather
  • lighter than air
  • like clockwork
  • like father like son
  • like taking candy from a baby
  • like there's no tomorrow
  • lion's share
  • live and learn
  • live and let live
  • long and short of it
  • long lost love
  • look before you leap
  • look down your nose
  • look what the cat dragged in
  • looks like death warmed over
  • loose cannon
  • lose your head
  • lose your temper
  • lost track of time
  • loud as a horn
  • lounge lizard
  • loved and lost
  • low hanging fruit
  • low man on the totem pole
  • luck of the Irish
  • luck of the draw
  • make hay while the sun shines
  • make lemonade
  • make money hand over fist
  • make my day
  • make the best of a bad situation
  • make the best of it
  • make your blood boil
  • man of few words
  • man's best friend
  • mark my words
  • missed the boat on that one
  • moment in the sun
  • moment of glory
  • moment of truth
  • money to burn
  • more power to you
  • more than one way to skin a cat
  • movers and shakers
  • n
  • naked as a jaybird
  • naked truth
  • neat as a pin
  • needless to say
  • neither here nor there
  • never look back
  • never say never
  • nip and tuck
  • nip it in the bud
  • no action
  • no gain
  • no glory
  • no guts
  • no love lost
  • no pain
  • no skin off my back
  • no stone unturned
  • no time like the present
  • no use crying over spilled milk
  • nose to the grindstone
  • not a hope in hell
  • not a minute's peace
  • not in my backyard
  • not playing with a full deck
  • not the end of the world
  • not written in stone
  • nothing to sneeze at
  • nothing ventured nothing gained
  • now we're cooking
  • off the top of my head
  • off the wagon
  • off the wall
  • old hat
  • older and wiser
  • older than Methuselah
  • older than dirt
  • on a roll
  • on cloud nine
  • on her high horse
  • on his high horse
  • on pins and needles
  • on the bandwagon
  • on the money
  • on the nose
  • on the rocks
  • on the spot
  • on the tip of my tongue
  • on the wagon
  • on their high horse
  • on thin ice
  • once bitten
  • one bad apple
  • one born every minute
  • one brick short
  • one foot in the grave
  • one in a million
  • one red cent
  • only game in town
  • only time will tell
  • open a can of worms
  • open the flood gates
  • opportunity doesn't knock twice
  • opposites attract
  • out of mind
  • out of pocket
  • out of sight
  • out of the frying pan into the fire
  • out of the woods
  • out on a limb
  • over a barrel
  • over the hump
  • pain and suffering
  • panic button
  • par for the course
  • part and parcel
  • party pooper
  • pass the buck
  • patience is a virtue
  • pay through the nose
  • penny pincher
  • perfect storm
  • pig in a poke
  • pile it on
  • pillar of the community
  • pin your hopes on
  • pitter patter of little feet
  • plain as day
  • plain as the nose on your face
  • play by the rules
  • play your cards right
  • playing the field
  • playing with fire
  • pleased as punch
  • plenty of fish in the sea
  • poor as a church mouse
  • pot calling the kettle black
  • pull a fast one
  • pull your punches
  • pulling your leg
  • pure as the driven snow
  • put one over on you
  • put the cart before the horse
  • put the pedal to the metal
  • put your best foot forward
  • put your foot down
  • quick as a bunny
  • quick as a lick
  • quick as a wink
  • quick as lightning
  • quiet as a dormouse
  • rags to riches
  • raining buckets
  • raining cats and dogs
  • rank and file
  • read between the lines
  • reap what you sow
  • red as a beet
  • red herring
  • reinvent the wheel
  • rich and famous
  • rings a bell
  • ripped me off
  • rise and shine
  • road to hell is paved with good intentions
  • rob Peter to pay Paul
  • roll over in the grave
  • rub the wrong way
  • running in circles
  • rushed for time
  • salt of the earth
  • scared out of her wits
  • scared out of his wits
  • scared out of my wits
  • scared out of one's wits
  • scared out of their wits
  • scared stiff
  • scared to death
  • sealed with a kiss
  • second to none
  • see eye to eye
  • seen the light
  • seize the day
  • sent a shiver down my spine
  • set the record straight
  • set your teeth on edge
  • sharp as a tack
  • shoot for the moon
  • shoot the breeze
  • shot in the dark
  • shoulder to the wheel
  • sick as a dog
  • sigh of relief
  • sink or swim
  • skating on thin ice
  • slept like a log
  • slinging mud
  • slippery as an eel
  • slow as molasses in January
  • smooth as a baby's bottom
  • snug as a bug in a rug
  • sow wild oats
  • spare the rod
  • speak of the devil
  • spilled the beans
  • spinning your wheels
  • spitting image of
  • spoil the child
  • spoke with relish
  • spring to life
  • squeaky wheel gets the grease
  • stands out like a sore thumb
  • start from scratch
  • stick in the mud
  • still waters run deep
  • stitch in time
  • stop and smell the roses
  • straw that broke the camel's back
  • strong as an ox
  • stubborn as a mule
  • stuff that dreams are made of
  • stuffed shirt
  • sweating blood
  • sweating bullets
  • take a load off
  • take one for the team
  • take the bait
  • take the bull by the horns
  • take the plunge
  • take the tiger by the tail
  • takes one to know one
  • takes two to tango
  • that and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee
  • the more the merrier
  • the quiet before the storm
  • the real McCoy
  • the real deal
  • the red carpet treatment
  • the same old story
  • the time of my life
  • the tough get going
  • the wool over her eyes
  • the wool over his eyes
  • the wool over their eyes
  • the writing on the wall
  • there is no accounting for taste
  • they all lived happily ever after
  • thick as a brick
  • thick as thieves
  • think outside of the box
  • think outside the box
  • third time's the charm
  • this day and age
  • this hurts me worse than it hurts you
  • this point in time
  • three sheets to the wind
  • three strikes against
  • throw in the towel
  • tie one on
  • tighter than a drum
  • time and time again
  • time heals all wounds
  • time is of the essence
  • time will tell
  • tip of the iceberg
  • to each his own
  • to the best of my knowledge
  • toe the line
  • tongue-in-cheek
  • too good to be true
  • too hot to handle
  • too numerous to mention
  • touch with a ten foot pole
  • tough as nails
  • trials and tribulations
  • tried and true
  • trip down memory lane
  • twice shy
  • twist of fate
  • two cents worth
  • two peas in a pod
  • ugly as sin
  • under her thumb
  • under his thumb
  • under the counter
  • under the gun
  • under the same roof
  • until the cows come home
  • unvarnished truth
  • up his sleeve
  • up the creek
  • up to his ears in trouble
  • uphill battle
  • upper crust
  • upset the applecart
  • vain attempt
  • vain effort
  • vanquish the enemy
  • vested interest
  • waiting for the other shoe to drop
  • wakeup call
  • warm welcome
  • watch your p's and q's
  • watch your tongue
  • watching the clock
  • water under the bridge
  • we're not laughing at you we're laughing with you
  • weak as a kitten
  • weather the storm
  • weed them out
  • week of Sundays
  • went belly up
  • wet behind the ears
  • what goes around comes around
  • what you see is what you get
  • when it rains it pours
  • when push comes to shove
  • when the cat's away
  • when the going gets tough
  • when you have lemons
  • white as a sheet
  • whole ball of wax
  • whole hog
  • whole nine yards
  • wild goose chase
  • will wonders never cease
  • wisdom of the ages
  • without a care in the world
  • wolf at the door
  • words fail me
  • work like a dog
  • world weary
  • worst nightmare
  • wrong side of the bed
  • yanking your chain
  • yappy as a dog
  • years young
  • you are what you eat
  • you only live once
  • you're the boss
  • young and foolish
  • young and vibrant
  • only half the battle