Top 10 Cliches, proverbs, euphanisms contest

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by PhiSlammaJamma, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. PhiSlammaJamma

    Aug 29, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Vote for the top 10. When making your vote think about things like... Have you used it. Has it changed your life in any way. Have you heard it over and over again. What will you pass on to your children. Will this phrase continue into the next century and be passed down from one genration to the next, is it popular, and will it continue to have meaning.

    Whatever phrases win I'll dig up the origins and meaning for you.
    Feel Free to add your own.

    A chain is only as strong as its weakest link
    A fool and his money are soon parted
    A good man is hard to find
    A house divided against itself cannot stand
    A leopard cannot change its spots
    A penny saved is a penny earned
    A picture paints a thousand words
    A place for everything and everything in its place
    A woman's place is in the home
    A woman's work is never done
    Actions speak louder than words
    All good things come to he who waits
    All things must pass
    All's fair in love and war
    An apple a day keeps the doctor away
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
    Beggars can't be choosers
    Better late than never
    Better safe than sorry
    Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all
    Birds of a feather flock together
    Blood is thicker than water
    Boys will be boys
    Count you blessings
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
    Don't bite the hand that feeds you
    Don't count your chickens before they are hatched
    Don't cross the bridge till you come to it
    Don't put all your eggs in one basket
    Don't try to walk before you can crawl
    Easy come easy go
    Every dark cloud has a silver lining
    Every dog has his day
    Finders keepers, losers weepers
    First things first
    Flattery will get you nowhere
    Good things come to those who wait
    Great minds think alike
    Hard work never did anyone any harm
    He who laughs last laughs longest
    He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword
    Hindsight is always twenty-twenty
    History repeats itself
    Home is where the heart is
    If God had meant us to fly he'd have given us wings
    If a job is worth doing it is worth doing well
    If at first you don't succeed try, try and try again
    If you can't beat em, join em
    If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen
    It goes without saying
    It never rains but it pours
    It takes one to know one
    It's better to give than to receive
    It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all
    It's never too late
    It's not worth crying over spilt milk
    It's the early bird that gets the worm
    It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease
    Keep your chin up
    Laughter is the best medicine
    Let bygones be bygones
    Let sleeping dogs lie
    Let the punishment fit the crime
    Life is what you make it
    Lightening never strikes twice in the same place
    Like father, like son
    Love is blind
    Make love not war
    Misery loves company
    Money doesn't grow on trees
    Money makes the world go round
    Money talks
    Never judge a book by its cover
    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today
    Nothing is certain but death and taxes
    Oil and water don't mix
    One good turn deserves another
    Opportunity only knocks once
    Out of sight, out of mind
    Possession is nine tenths of the law
    Practise makes perfect
    Put your best foot forward
    Revenge is a dish best served cold
    Rome wasn't built in a day
    Stupid is as stupid does
    Talk is cheap
    That which does not kill us makes us stronger
    The darkest hour is just before the dawn
    The ends justify the means
    The exception which proves the rule
    The more things change, the more they stay the same
    The pen is mightier than sword
    The way to a man's heart is through his stomach
    There's no place like home
    There's no smoke without fire
    There's no time like the present
    There's one born every minute
    Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it
    To err is human, to forgive divine
    To the victor goes the spoils
    Tomorrow never comes
    Too many cooks spoil the broth
    Truth is stranger than fiction
    Two heads are better then one
    Two wrongs don't make a right
    Where there's a will there's a way
    Worrying never did anyone any good
    You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar
    Bad egg
    Back seat driver
    Come hell or high water
    Cut off your nose to spite your face
    Diamond in the rough - A
    Diamond is forever - A
    Dog days
    Eat drink and be merry
    End of story
    Face the music
    Feeding frenzy
    Fly by the seat of your pants
    Fly on the wall
    From sea to shining sea
    Full of piss and vinegar
    Get off on the wrong foot
    Get used to it
    Hell has no fury like a woman scorned
    Hit the ground running
    Hit the hay
    I have not slept one wink
    I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
    Is the Pope Catholic?
    Just in time
    Knock on wood
    Know the ropes
    Know which way the wind blows
    Less is more
    Let there be light
    Let your hair down
    Level playing field
    Like the Dickens
    Middle of the road
    Much Ado about Nothing
    Never the twain shall meet
    New kid on the block
    Not playing with a full deck
    O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo
    Old lang syne
    One for the road
    Out of sight, out of mind
    Paint the town red
    Pie in the sky
    Play it again Sam
    Play the race card
    Politically correct
    Pop goes the weasel
    Put a sock in it
    Put your best foot forward
    Quality time
    Raining cats and dogs
    Read the riot act
    Rhyme nor reason
    Rise and shine
    Rule of thumb
    Run amuck
    Share and share alike
    Ship shape and Bristol fashion
    **** for brains
    Sleep tight
    Smoke and mirrors
    Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em
    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark
    Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
    Son of a gun
    Sour grapes
    Space, the final frontier
    Stand and deliver
    Straight from the horse's mouth
    Survival of the fittest
    Suspension of disbelief
    Swan song
    Take a back seat
    Take down a peg or two
    The Best laid schemes of mice and men
    The bitter end
    The blind leading the blind
    The buck stops here
    The call of the wild
    The customer is always right
    The die has been cast
    The live-long day
    The love of money is the root of all evil
    The root of the matter
    The **** hits the fan
    The status quo
    The third degree
    There's more than one way to skin a cat
    There's one born every minute
    Things that go bump in the night
    Third time's a charm
    This is the short and the long of it
    Three strikes and you are out
    Thou shalt not kill
    Tie the knot
    Till the cows come home
    Tomorrow is another day
    Too much of a good thing
    To be or not to be
    Two cents worth
    Wet behind the ears
    Win one for the Gipper
    Wing it
    A sorry sight
    As dead as a doornail
    Flesh and blood
    We have seen better days
  2. A-Train

    A-Train Running With Scissors

    Jan 1, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Sports cliches are the worst...

    "Give 110%"
    "Take it one game at a time"
    "you can't teach height"
    "the better team won today"
    "we need a change of direction"
    "closer than the final score indicated"
    "this is a good team on paper"

    ...and, of course, my favorite sports cliche of all time..."He's really long"...
  3. Pole

    Pole Contributing Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I've used it, and I remember the origin (I don't see it on your list)

    "the whole nine yards"

    Roxran probably knows the origin too.
  4. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

    Sep 19, 1999
    Likes Received:
    i love it when craig biggio says, "well..ya know..once again..that's baseball...that's how it goes." :rolleyes:

    and i say that as a big craig biggio fan!
  5. fadeaway

    fadeaway Contributing Member

    Apr 25, 2000
    Likes Received:
    "Once in a blue moon."
  6. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

    Dec 22, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Once had a coach who said...

    "The cream rises to the top. Don't be the milk!"

    We were inspired.
  7. LeisureSuitMoochie

    Aug 28, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Doesn't it come from WWII where soldiers used the whole chain of bullets for a particular gun (gatling gun, maybe), and the length of the ammo was nine yards?

    Anyways, my favorite saying is, "I'd tell ya, but then I'd have to kill ya."
  8. PhiSlammaJamma

    Aug 29, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Of all the feedback that The Phrase Finder site gets this is the phrase that causes the most feedback and the most disagreement. At the outset it should be said that no one knows the origin, although many have an fervent belief that they do. These convictions are unfailingly based on no more evidence than 'someone told me'.

    It is most likely that, like many phrases, it originated in colloquial use and has been appropriated as a general term meaning full measure in many different contexts. There are many things that can be measured in yards, so there are many plausible explanations of the phrase's origin. Regrettably, plausibility isn't enough.

    The earliest known reference to the phrase in print is as recent as 1967 in 'The Doom Pussy', a novel about the Vietnam War by Elaine Shepard. In that context the phrase refers to the difficulties a character has with unentangling himself from an unwanted marriage. It isn't clear if the author coined the phrase herself, although the manner of its use in the story would suggest not. Ms. Shepard died in September 1998, so perhaps we will never know.

    It does seem possible that the phrase was in use by WWII and I have several correspondents who claim relatives who remember using it in the US and British forces then. Once phrases are in common use though they do tend to appear in print within a year or two. The lack of any printed copy prior to 1967 supports the view that it originated in the 1960s.

    These are some of the versions going the rounds: without evidence one is as good as another, take your pick...

    It comes from the nine cubic yards capacity of US concrete trucks and dates from around 1970s.

    The explanation refers to World War II aircraft, which if proved correct would clearly pre-date the concrete truck version. There are several aircraft related sources, 1. the length of US bombers bomb racks,

    2. the length of RAF Spitfire's machine gun bullet belts,

    3. the length of ammunition belts in ground based anti-aircraft turrets, etc. No evidence to show that any of these measured nine yards has been forthcoming.

    Tailors use nine yards of material for top quality suits. Related to 'dressed to the nines'?

    The derivation has even been suggested as being naval and that the yards are shipyards rather than measures of area or volume.
    Another naval version is that the yards are yardarms. Large sailing ships had three masts, each with three yardarms. The theory goes that ships in battle can continue changing direction as new sails are unfurled. Only when the last sail, on the ninth yardarm, is used do the enemy know which direction the ship is finally headed.
  9. Castor27

    Castor27 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Likes Received:
    My votes are as follows.

    Knock on wood
    Money doesn't grow on trees
    Hindsight is always twenty-twenty
    Better late than never
    All's fair in love and war
    Finders keepers, losers weepers
    Great minds think alike
    The Best laid schemes of mice and men
    One for the road
    The penis mightier for $400 Alex


    Jan 29, 2000
    Likes Received:
    You can't get blood from a stone, but you can get blood with a stone.
  11. TheHorns

    TheHorns Member

    Oct 9, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Anything that comes out of Clyde Drexler's or Craig Bigigo's mouth.
  12. codell

    codell Contributing Member

    Aug 26, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Damn you. You stole my thunder.

    I saw the title of this thread and the first thing that came to my mind was, Mr. Cliche himself, Craig Biggio. ;)
  13. RIET

    RIET Contributing Member

    May 20, 2002
    Likes Received:
    "Coffee is for closers"
  14. finalsbound

    finalsbound Contributing Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Study long, study wrong.

    An inspiring cliche for perfectionists.
  15. don grahamleone

    don grahamleone Contributing Member

    Aug 11, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I'd like to know about the piss and vinegar thing and the whole nine yards.

    unlisted(I'm pretty sure):

    The whole kitten caboodle(sp?)

    and my favorite chinese proverb:

    do not remove a fly from your friend's forehead with a hatchet
  16. dimsie

    dimsie Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Something that all English/Anglo sportspeople say with monotonous regularity:

    'At the end of the day...'
  17. PhiSlammaJamma

    Aug 29, 1999
    Likes Received:
    The whole 9 yards origin is above.

    Full of Piss and Vinegar:
    Meaning :Rowdy and boisterous.
    Origin: Sailors who had had plenty to drink were in this condition. The vinegar may refer to the acidic form that cheap alcohol adopts when drunk, or it may be the vinegar that sailors drank to ward off scurvy
  18. PhiSlammaJamma

    Aug 29, 1999
    Likes Received:
    "Kit and caboodle" (which is the most common form) dates back to the mid-eighteenth century and appeared first in England. There are a number of variants, including "kit and kerboodle" and "kit and boodle." The "kit" part of the phrase is of fairly straightforward origin, "kit" being an 18th century English slang term for "outfit" or "collection," as in a soldier's "kit bag," which contained all his worldly possessions. "Kit" may have come from "kith," meaning "estate," found today in the phrase "kith and kin."

    "Caboodle" is a tougher nut to crack. As usual, there are a number of theories, the most likely of which traces "boodle" back to the Dutch word "boedel," meaning "property." Lawyers take note: "boodle" actually was a respectable word in its own right (meaning "estate") in the 17th and 18th centuries, and was even used in legal documents. But why "caboodle" or "kerboodle"? The "ca" and "ker" may be related to the intensive German prefix "ge," giving the sense "the whole boodle." Put it all together and you get "kit and caboodle," meaning "everything and all of everything," down to the last kitten.
  19. PhiSlammaJamma

    Aug 29, 1999
    Likes Received:
    At the end of the day:

    First became popular in the U.K. and drift westward. At the end of the day, "at the end of the day" is only an announcement of summarising and when all's said and done - it suggests that there will be an encompassing movement from the particular to the general, which at the end of the day is sometimes required, when all's said and done.
  20. PhiSlammaJamma

    Aug 29, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Once in a Blue Moon:

    A very rare event.
    A blue moon was originally cited as something impossible and later came to mean unlikely. There are rare examples of the moon actually appearing blue, after volcanic eruptions or unusual weather conditions. Another possible derivation is from The Maine Farmers' Almanac. When there were two full moons in a calendar month the first was printed in red, the second in blue.

Share This Page