A Lackadaisical Lexicon for Laggard Logophiles
Types of Sayings

A saying is something that is said, notable in one respect or another, to be “a pithy expression of wisdom or truth”.

There are a number of specific types of saying:

Adage – An aphorism that has gained credibility by virtue of long use.

Aphorism – A concise definition, notably memorable.

Apophthegm – “…an edgy, more cynical aphorism; such as, ‘Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.’”

Bromide – A phrase or platitude that, having been employed excessively, suggests insincerity or a lack of originality in the speaker employing it.

Cliché – An overly commonplace, hackneyed or trite saying.

Epigram – A poetic form of comment on a particular idea, occurrence, or person.

Epithet – A descriptive word or phrase that has become a popular formulation.

Gnome – (Greek: gnome, from gignoskein, to know) A type of saying, especially an aphorism or a maxim, that is designed to provide instruction in a compact form.

Idiom – “…an expression whose meaning can’t be derived simply by hearing it, such as ‘Kick the bucket.’”

Mantra – A religious or mystical syllable or poetic phrase.

Maxim – A principle or rule. A maxim is a wise saying, especially one intended to advise or recommend a course of conduct. In comparison to its approximate synonyms: saying, adage, saw, motto, epigram, proverb, aphorism, the term maxim stresses the succinct formulation of an ultimate truth, a fundamental principle, or a rule of conduct. The word derives from the Latin word maximus, “greatest”, via an expression maxima propositio, “greatest premise”.

Motto – A concise expression of motivation used by a group or individual.

Platitude A flat, insipid, trite, or weak remark.

Proverb – An expression of practical truth or wisdom.

Quip – A witty or funny observation.

Saw – A saying that is commonplace, longstanding and occasionally trite.

Witticism – A smart saying, notable for its form or style rather than its content.


  1. myballpointpen reblogged this from thoughmymindcouldthink
  2. oribiawoo reblogged this from victoriousvocabulary
  3. asparagusrocket reblogged this from referenceforwriters
  4. clusterofwonders reblogged this from writeworld
  5. cvrlie reblogged this from victoriousvocabulary
  6. thus-wrote-tobias reblogged this from love-and-villainy
  7. chrisalis105 reblogged this from reblogstuff
  8. highpies reblogged this from reblogstuff
  9. reblogstuff reblogged this from writeworld
  10. truelight8 reblogged this from linestorm
  11. linestorm reblogged this from writinghelpers
  12. macklemore-needs-help reblogged this from writeworld
  13. mythosthanmarrow reblogged this from jasontoddingarchive
  14. jasontoddingarchive reblogged this from arcanan
  15. arcanan reblogged this from writeworld