7/16: The next round of the Cliche Rotation Project is going on now. Submit your entry here.
Rosecrans and I had a weird moment of Baldwinicity last month, as we were both struck by essentially the same idea at the time. I called on my readers to participate in The Cliche Rotation Project, a drive to replace old and worn out sayings with new ones of roughly equivalent meaning. A few days later, Rosecrans unveiled the Contest for Total Idioms, in which readers of The Morning News were asked to submit newly minted proverbs and adages.
Well, the winners of the Contest for Total Idioms were announced today. So it seems only fitting that I published some submissions in the CRP as well.
I got lots and lots of entries, but have narrowed this batch down to 30. I think this might become a reoccurring feature, though, so you’ll see some of the rest later. And you shouldn’t hesitate to send new ones to email@example.com.
So: out with the old and in with the new! Or, as I like to say, let’s shed skin and slither in style.
|Always a bridesmaid, never the bride||I’m not the hero of this story.||Nathan Werth||“This one is a bastardization from my gaming geek days, when my friends and I would joke that ‘I am so not the PC here.’”|
|Back to square one||Back to World 1-1||Martin Mushrush|
|The bee’s knees; the cat’s pajamas||The bee’s pajamas||Robin Lane||“My 14-year-old son, Calvin, shares your interest in giving new life to old cliches. A few months ago, he somehow came across these two old versions and decided to revamp. The droll tone is crucial: ‘Well, that’s just the bee’s pajamas, Mom.’”|
|The blind leading the blind||Enrolled in the Paris and Nicole Academy|
|The coast is clear||The porn is deleted||John Taylor|
|Come hell or high water||Even if they send in Chinese tanks||Rob Cockerham|
|Do the right thing||Get on the nut foot||Dave Yeagar||“There’s a story here. Basically a few of us took my buddy out for his birthday and he got somewhat inebriated. He began to talk nonstop about these roasted almonds that this guy sold out of a truck near his place of employment. He literally went on about these nuts for almost 30 minutes. Finally one of us tried to stop the madness by suggesting he talk about something else, but he adamantly slurred: ‘No…. you gotta… you gotta get on the nut… foot.’”|
|Don’t be a party-pooper||Don’t squeeze out your grumpies in public||beajerry|
|Don’t take any wooden nickels||Don’t mistake eggs for oysters||Eve Tolpa|
|Dumb as a box of rocks.||Don’t have the good sense that God gave cabbage||Cindy Molitor||“This isn’t a new one. My mother used to say it to me all the time when I was growing up. However, it’s one that I’ve never heard anyone else use.”|
|He’s yesterday’s news||He’s a stamp-licker||David LaMotte|
|If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.||If you won’t shake your bootie, get off the dance floor||Pam Coughlan|
|It’s a win-win situation.||Everyone gets ice cream!||Alkelda the Gleeful|
|Keep your eyes peeled||Put your deadlights on high beams||Scott Bush||I don’t know if “deadlights” is a typo, but I like it — MB|
|Knuckle sandwich||Boot souffle||Neal|
|Let’s make like a tree and leave||Let’s shoot this pig into space.||Clint Bishop|
|Looking for a needle in a haystack||Trying to find a clock in a casino||Angus Stocking|
|Looks a gift horse in the mouth||Wants birthday cake on Christmas.||Mud|
|More fun than a barrel of monkeys||More fun than 20 yards of bubble wrap||Diesel|
|Nice guys finish last||No one remembers Ivan the Wonderful||Lung the Younger|
|Playing second fiddle||Jeeves in a Google world||Mud|
|The pot calling the kettle black||The pot calling the pipe “drug paraphernalia.”||Jonathan Hoferle|
|Pushing up daisies||Tanning the soles of his feet||Lung the Younger|
|Putting the cart before the horse||Putting the “umption” before the ass||Julie|
|Reinvent the wheel||Start a whole new batch of sourdough||Bill Braine|
|Silence is golden||Quiet is currency||Susanna|
|Sleep with the fishes||Flirt with the dirt||Southpaw Jones|
|Still waters run deep||Quiet squirrels have more nuts||No Name Slob|
|The squeaky wheel gets the grease||The squeaky dolphin gets the fish||Eric|
|We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it||We’ll chop that tomato when the salsa runs out||Suzanna|
|You made your bed, now sleep in it||You poop it, you scoop it||Reuben|
Update: Theresa writes:
Some time ago, my brother-in-law decided to teach my daughter, N., the phrase, "That dog don't hunt," to be used after any sentence that had a lie or tall tale included in it. N. used it quite often at first and even would ask me to make up some untrue statement just so she could respond with, "That dog don't hunt!". Having a three year old armed with this phrase and knowing when to use it was a great ice breaker and/or party trick. The phrase eventually wore out of it newness and was not used. Recently, N. and I were visiting a friend, and when someone made a random, nonsensical comment, N. responded with, "That spoon don't scoop!" My jaw dropped and I had to ask her, "Where did you learn that?" and she responded, "I made it up!" Either she is pretty darn smart or a pretty darn good liar...That dog don't hunt, N.!
Yeah, along with the kid activities Heather previous classified here as “cute the first time, obnoxious the 65,000,000,000th,” add “using a catchphrase.” I taught The Squirrelly to use the phrase “down the hatch!” when eating. Hilarity ensued–until he started bellowing it before every forkful of Veggie Dog during every single meal. That’s a cliche in dire need of rotation.