Catch-phrases – interjections and rejoinders

41n7A6ZEwCLThis is a list sent in by a nameless jotter. It is by no means exhaustive. It had no notes but each well worn phrase has been used as banter- a rejoinder or an amusing interruption in a conversation or during an anecdote or monologue. Almost all use irony, sarcasm or mild mockery and are cliches – but they could possibly still incite mirth if the timing was right. Thumping cliches have asterisks. I’ll get my coat.

I am now off on a bike to the Bodleian to consult Partridge’s 1977 Dictionary of Catch Phrases in manuscript (as you do). It will be interesting to see how many of these he recorded. Most are site specific but fairly obviously so – for example if someone is going on about a politician – how he should be incarcerated, hung drawn and quartered etc., you might say “tell us how you really feel..”

Amen to that!

And this affects me how?

And you know this it how?

Are you nuts?

As it were (after an unintended pun)

As the Bishop said to the actress (archaic)

As you do

*Back to the drawing board

*Been there, Done that, Got the T-shirt




*Cut to the chase

Do what?

*Do I look like etc.,?

Don’t be like that

*Don’t even go there

*Don’t even think about it

Don’t get me started

Don’t hold back

Don’t you hate it when that happens?

Dream on

First world problem (after someone says something self-indulgent -like there is not enough foam in their latte)

Get on with it

Get (the fuck) out of here

Good luck with that (similar to ‘In your dreams’)

Have you quite finished?

Here we go (said with a resigned tone)

Hey that’s my line!

How very dare you!

*I can live with that

*I feel your pain

I’ll get my coat (British)

I guess you had to be there

I have a question

I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that

I’m not saying anything (nothing)

I hear what you’re saying

I think I love you

I think I’m going to cry (be sick)

In English, please

*In your dreams

Is that it?

*Is nothing sacred?

Is someone writing this down?

Is there a point to this?

Is this a five minute argument, or the full half-hour? (Monty Python)

Just like that! (a Tommy Cooperism)

Just saying

Music to my ears

My heart bleeds for you


Nina, Nina, Nina

Not to beat about the bush (archaic)

Not on my watch

Not that there is anything wrong with that

Now I’ve heard it all

Now you tell me

Or not

Or words to that effect

Pass me the sick bag



So I am lead to believe

So they tell me

Spare me the details

Steady on!

Take a deep breath

Talk to the hand, the face ain’t listening…

*Tell it like it is

Tell me about it

Tell that to the marines

Tell us what you really think

*Thanks for sharing

Thank you for putting that image in my mind

*That went well

That’s all she wrote

There is a God!

To hell with you (and the horse you rode in on)

*Too much information

Well I never

We’ve all been there

What are you like?

What’s that all about?

Where’s the fun in that?

You cannot be serious (said like John McEnroe)

You can’t make this stuff up

You had me worried there

You just don’t get it

You may say that…

*You say that like it’s a bad thing

You monster! (a Charle Brookerism)

*You need to get out more

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