Wanted: New Cliches Please

It’s no secret that I love words and language. I’ve devoted more than a few blog posts to the topic, like this one, and this one, and this one.

Lately I’ve been noticing how much violence sneaks into every day conversation. Once I started paying attention, I was a little stunned at the amount of violence behind my words. Things like conquering, and beating, and pimping.

With a little awareness, I’m (mostly) using words that more accurately reflect my peace-loving self. But a few words and idioms are such succinct, well-understood short-cuts it’s difficult to find substitutes.

I’m talking about these kinds of things:

  • There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
  • Kill two birds with one stone.
  • Pimping

I’m going to keep thinking about different ways to express these ideas, and I’d love to hear from you.

What new words or phrases could replace those?

What other sneaky violent references pop up in every day conversation?

4 comments to Wanted: New Cliches Please

  • I discovered that I use “get rid of it” an awful lot. Now I am aware of it .. and still it’s hard to stop. Which is, no doubt, why some of those things remain .. because I am refusing to see them as part of me, but instead as something that must be stomped out, or gotten rid of. :)

    What about:
    All rivers flow to the sea
    Bowling (the ball can hit 1-all pins)

    not sure about pimping at the moment .. thought about upgrading, but I am not sure if that’s really the same
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..on wings of song =-.

  • There is this great book about idioms around the world that recently came out. It talks about how our cultures use idioms differently. Apparently the word noodle is used a lot.
    My son says “Think about it” a lot.
    Hmm…I don’t know what I say. I’ll have to think about it. :)
    .-= Bridget´s last blog ..Dreams of Futility =-.

  • Yes! It’s so funny, I am always using “death” metaphors…it’s always “I’m dying” or “scared to death”…it’s like what is that all about? Ouchie. Hmm. Now to think of replacements for expressing extremes…
    .-= Eileen´s last blog ..Sailing Schedule =-.

  • Such a creative and thought-provoking post. There’s a strong tide of violence in our society isn’t there Shannon, takes a conscious change to shift our thinking and habits and it starts in small ways just as you suggest.
    My thoughts about alternatives to ‘skin the cat.’
    There’s more than one way to:
    greet a new day
    listen to a bird singing
    make your wife smile
    say hello to a stranger

    Thanks for what you offered into my life this morning.

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