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    #1

    mixed-up cliches


    I am new and kinda clumsy at this.
    I have a question. What is the term for a phrase that is a mixed cliche? The only example I know is: "you butter your bread, you lie in it." I knew someone who could rhyme these off non-stop, and it was hilarious.
    Thanks.
    Bunky

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    #2

    Re: mixed-up cliches

    I don't know of a specific term for it, but I hope someone else does.

  1. rewboss's Avatar

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    #3

    Re: mixed-up cliches

    It's called a mixed metaphor.

    The classic British sitcom Yes, Minister often featured mixed metaphors. These were often uttered by the main character, Jim Hacker, a government minister; and then corrected by his pedantic Private Secretary Bernard.

    For example, Hacker might say something like, "But we can't do this! It's a minefield! It's a political graveyard!" and Bernard would respond with, "Actually, Minister, you can't have a minefield in a graveyard, because all the corpses would just sort of go 'boom'."

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    #4

    Re: mixed-up cliches

    Hmm, I was hoping there was a grand latinate term.


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    #5

    Re: mixed-up cliches

    I think what is meant is a combination of cliches for a humorous purpose, so it's not necessarily a metaphor.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: mixed-up cliches

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    I think what is meant is a combination of cliches for a humorous purpose, so it's not necessarily a metaphor.
    I agree.

    He opens his mouth isn't a metaphor, although there's the hint of a metaphor there, as it implies '... [to talk about something that isn't his business]'.

    He puts his foot in it is a metaphor all right.

    But "Whenever he opens his mouth, he puts his foot in it' seems to me to be something more. I think Tdol's right (either Latinate or Greek).

    b

  3. rewboss's Avatar

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    #7

    Re: mixed-up cliches

    Well, Bunky did talk about "mixed clichés", and provided an example of what is usually called a mixed metaphor.

    "He opened his mouth" is not only not a metaphor, it is also not a cliché.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: mixed-up cliches


  5. rewboss's Avatar

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    #9

    Re: mixed-up cliches

    Catachresis is a very broad term; it encompasses many different types of error.

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    #10

    Re: mixed-up cliches

    Anyone know enough Latin or Greek to invent one?

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