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noun 
  1. A type of cliché which uses an old idiom formulaically in a new context. For example, "it's X, but not as we know it".
    • 2005 Nov 5, auuV, "Some articles that I like. They are about language", <tt>alt.running.out.of.newsgroup.names</tt>, Usenet
    • : I stumbled upon the site the other day, when I was looking up the origins of the "Im not an X, but I play one on TV" .
    • 2005 December 3, David Rowan, "Trendsurfing: <nowiki>'</nowiki>Snowclone<nowiki>'</nowiki> journalism" http://www.davidrowan.com/2005/12/trendsurfing-snowclone-journalism.html, The Times
    • : Suddenly hunters were documenting media usages suggesting that, in space, no one can hear you belch, bitch, blog, speak, squeak or suck.
    • 2006 Jun 20, Michael Erard, Analyzing Eggcorns and Snowclones, and Challenging Strunk and White, in w:The New York Times, The New York Times, page F4
    • : Regular readers learned there first about snowclones, the basic building blocks of cliches, like "X is the new Y" or "you don't need a degree in A to do B."
    • 2006 Jul, Mark Peters, Not Your Father's Cliché, in w:Columbia Journalism Review, Columbia Journalism Review 45(2), page 14
    • : If so, you're being snowed under by snowclones &mdash; a category of fill-in-the-blank cliché identified by linguists.
    • 2006 Nov 18, unknown author, Snowclone, in w:New Scientist, New Scientist 192(2578), page 80
    • : When you read phrases like these in a newspaper, you've stumbled across a particular type of cliché: the .
Etymology: Blend of snow cone and clone; coined by Glen Whitman in response to w:Geoffrey Pullum, Geoffrey Pullum on the blog w:Language Log, Language Log


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