catchphrase


catchphrase
catchphrase
is a term (mid-19c) for a phrase that catches on quickly and that is often used without direct allusion to its first occurrence (when this is known). Examples are: Not tonight, Josephine (associated with Napoleon but more likely a Victorian music hall invention), for my next trick (from magicians' patter), and have a nice day (1970s, originally AmE, exact origin disputed). Many more examples are given in Eric Partridge's Dictionary of Catch Phrases (1977). More recent catchphrases, many of them disseminated by radio and television, include economical with the truth (1986, used by the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Richard Armstrong), get a life (early 1990s), level playing field (1980s, originally AmE), and move the goalposts (1980s). See also clichés.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • catchphrase — UK US /ˈkætʃfreɪz/ noun [C] ► MARKETING a phrase that is often repeated and becomes connected with a particular organization, product, person, etc.: »What we need now is a catchphrase for the marketing campaign. »His catchphrase, Make my day ,… …   Financial and business terms

  • catchphrase — [kach′frāz΄] n. a phrase that catches or is meant to catch the popular attention: also written catch phrase * * * catch phrase n. A phrase in wide or popular use, especially one serving as a slogan for a group or movement. * * * …   Universalium

  • catchphrase — (n.) c.1850, from CATCH (Cf. catch) (v.) + PHRASE (Cf. phrase). The notion is of words that will catch in the mind (Cf. CATCHWORD (Cf. catchword)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • catchphrase — ► NOUN ▪ a well known sentence or phrase …   English terms dictionary

  • catchphrase — [kach′frāz΄] n. a phrase that catches or is meant to catch the popular attention: also written catch phrase …   English World dictionary

  • catchphrase — UK [ˈkætʃˌfreɪz] / US noun [countable] Word forms catchphrase : singular catchphrase plural catchphrases a short phrase that many people know because a famous person often says it …   English dictionary

  • catchphrase — noun Date: 1842 1. a word or expression that is used repeatedly and conveniently to represent or characterize a person, group, idea, or point of view 2. slogan 2 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • catchphrase — noun a) A group of words, often originating in popular culture, that is spontaneously popularized after widespread repeated use b) A signature phrase of a particular person or group. Syn: sig …   Wiktionary

  • catchphrase — catch|phrase [ˈkætʃfreız] n a short well known phrase made popular by an entertainer or politician, so that people think of that person when they hear it …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • catchphrase — catch|phrase [ kætʃ,freız ] noun count a short phrase that many people know because a famous person often says it …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English