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The Origin of Cliches

Russell Davies offers up an interesting bit of etymology (at least I think it would count as etymology):

Which reminded me of the origins of the word ‘cliche’ – in the days of movable type it meant a set of letters/words that were used together so frequently that the printer didn’t bother dismantling them. Which got me think about the cliches we’re building, and about one in particular – the screen.

I enjoyed that one. The rest of the post/presentation is worth reading as well.

November 28, 2009


  • David Sanger says:

    Nice but incorrect etymology for cliché.

    Eric Partridge’s classic work Origins notes that cliché comes from the French verb clicher, to stereotype

  • harris says:

    Not incorrect.

    In printing, a cliché and a stereotype are the exact same thing.

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