Cliche Sunday

This week’s cliche’s are brought to us by Dr. Sheldon Cooper.  Last week I was watching Big Bang (as usual) and Sheldon was rambling on (as usual), and he said “train of thought. I wonder where that came from.” And our weekly cliche subject was born 🙂 Most of the following cliches relate to thought in some form, some are just fun that I thought Sheldon would approve of.

Another think coming: to be greatly mistaken, to be prepared to quickly assume a different viewpoint.  ‘Another think coming’ predates ‘another thing coming’ by at least 20 years; although most people use ‘another thing coming’ more commonly these days. It is a bit part of an old comic phrase, If that’s what you think, you’ve got another think coming. Born in America, it has been around for at least a century.

Gobsmacked: to be surprised or dumbfounded. Definitely British in origin, with gob meaning mouth and smacked meaning exactly that. In effect, to be in shock after being figuratively hit in the mouth.

Thought Terminating Cliche:  a short, definitive-sounding expression thrown into a debate to end all discussion or thought about the topic of that debate. It is used in totalitarian societies to quell dissent and more generally to mask the fact that the person using it cannot mount an effective argument or effectively address the counter-argument.* This one I had to put in, as it seemed like something Sheldon would love to use!
Brain Dump: to tell someone everything one knows on a subject.  This one is rather new, but already old!  Often used in offices around America. It can be considered an effective way to transfer knowledge from a person to another person or a group of people,  especially if the information is not recorded as yet. Anyone who watches the Big Bang knows that Sheldon is particularly fond of ‘brain dumps’, whether his audience wants to hear it or not.
A little knowledge (or learning)  is a dangerous thing: a small amount of knowledge (or learning) can make one feel as if they are far more expert in a subject than they really are. One  of the earliest version found in print is by Alexander Pope in 1709:                                                                                                                 A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.
And finally, one for Leonard      —
Silence is Golden: meaning that saying nothing is perferable to saying anything. A long running proverb, which has had many incarnations, the first reference to it may be in Ancient Eygpt.
And of course–
Train of thought: A succession of connected ideas, a path of reasoning, as in You’veinterrupted my train of thought; now what was I saying? This idiom, which uses train in the sense of “an orderly sequence,” was first recorded in 1651,in philosopher Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan.**






Filed under Cliche Sunday

2 responses to “Cliche Sunday

  1. You’ve got to love TBBT- Sheldon being one of the best/ most maddening comic creations of all time. I do love Mrs Cooper, though- a genius idea to have such a fundamentalist Christian lady raise Sheldon the atheist- great grounds for friction.
    So nice to see the inclusion of ‘gobsmacked’ in your list- it’s not delicate, but it is descriptive. But then cliches only become so because they’re repeated often and they’re repeated so often because they strike a perfect note. A cliche becomes a cliche because it’s true 🙂


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