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Everyday Phrases That Come from Printing: Cliché

clicheTuesday, 29. October 2019

Everyday Phrases That Come from Printing: Cliché
Here is another printing innovation that snuck into our everyday speech with a simple step from the literal to the figurative.
Cliché is the French word for stereotyping. But instead of casting whole plates from metal, the French would cast frequently used phrases in one block, ready to be set among the individual letters to save time.
These were phrases used so much they became "cliché". The French verb clicher means “to click,” which imitated the sound made when striking metal to create stereotype plates. Through this onomatopoeia. "cliché" came to mean a ready-made, often repeated phrase.

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