Coming to the party

The other day a friend was mentioning that people use a lot of clichés when they speak – he keeps a list of them! [In fact he seems to keep lists of a lot of things, but that’s another story . . .] At the time it was during the Soccer World Cup, and he told me that the sports commentators were constantly speaking in clichés.  Phrases he mentioned were “coming to the party” (a big favourite in South African boardrooms), “hitting the ground running”, “picking up the pieces in midfield”.

Well, it seems that we’re not the only ones wondering about this trend.  And there’s even a cross-pollination (how’s that for a cliché!) of clichés: boardroom to sports, and sports to boardroom, nature to boardroom . . .

If you’re interested in the subject read Sports Cliches Go from Locker Room to Boardroom and Wikipedia’s List of Sports Cliches

So my question is: when does a cliché become an “old saying”?  Is it after a certain amount of time has passed, or is it when the cliché is no longer in daily use?


Tags: ,

Categories: Language


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)


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