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Stealing Words


You don't need to be profound in everything you say because chances are someone has already said it. There's nothing new under the sun.If I'm ever stuck in a lyrical rut, I steal other people's words through quotes and idioms.

Goodreads is a great resource for finding quotes. It has an enormous database of literary works and can pull quotes for any topic. Within thirty seconds of reading quotes from a search I usually become unstuck.

The idiom page at The Free Dictionary is a great resource for idioms. They have a scrolling menu on the right that continually lists new idioms. While idioms are incredibly cliché and cheesy, I have found it fun to play around with the words a bit. This can be through rearranging or subsituting words, puns, or elaborating on consonant or vowel sounds. Some examples:

Idiom: blood, sweat, and tears

New lyric: my blood's wet with fear, blood set to veer

Idiom: cart before the horse

New lyric: heart before the course

Idiom: turn a blind eye

New lyric: a blind lie, a blind sigh

All we need is a spark. A blind eye is cliché but a blind sigh points to something deeper and mysterious.

Stop trying to create something new and original and steal words from other people via quotes and idioms. Also, steal images from Unsplash, that's what I did for the beginning of this blog. You need to be careful elsewhere but Unsplash is as free as you can get.

I spent five minutes writing down idioms from The Free Dictionary; check these out and see if they create a spark.

Blood is thicker than water Eighty Six Fools’ Gold Idle hands are the devil’s tools No room to swing a cat Scapegoat Turn a blind eye Wear your heart on your sleeve When it rains it pours Come down to earth

Blood, sweat, and tears Writing on the wall Pandora’s box On one’s last legs Cold spell Heart of hearts A world of good All and sundry Build castles in the air In good faith On cloud nine At the eleventh hour Throw weight around Walls have ears

Split hairs Wax and wane Catch it in the neck To no avail Get blood out of a stone Take at face value Go to rack and ruin Lay of the land Rose-colored glasses Look daggers at Make ends meet Burn the midnight oil In dire straights

Take on a life of own Beat a dead horse Wouldn’t be caught dead Come out of the woodwork Cut someone dead Give the devil his due Ebb and flow A storm in a teacup The heavens opened Raring to go The home stretch Talk is cheap Sweat bullets Comes with the territory Bent out of shape Worth weight in gold Have second thoughts

#Unsplash #TheFreeDictionary #Goodreads

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© 2020 by Ben Noble