Inventory of snowclone postings

Another inventory of postings on Language Log and this blog, this time postings about snowclones — about particular snowclones and their histories, about snowclones in relationship to other phenomena, and so on.

Each posting that refers, in a more than cursory way, to a particular snowclone is entered here with a reference to that snowclone (I might well have missed some). In most cases, the first appearance of a snowclone in the inventory also has a short label (e.g., “Eskimo N” for the Eskimos-and-N-words-for-X snowclone, “The New Y” for “X is the new Y”), which is then used in later references to that snowclone. If a snowclone has been treated in Erin O’Connor’s Snowclone Database, then a reference to the database (in the form “scdb” plus the date of the entry there) also accompanies the first appearance of the snowclone in this inventory.

I’m leaving this posting open for comments, but I ask commenters not to use this space as a way of nominating candidates for snowclonehood (I’ve been overwhelmed by such nominations for about two years now). The scdb has entries for a fair number of examples that haven’t been discussed on Language Log or my blog, and probably will not be; we don’t propose to cover the Big Wide World of Snowclones here. In any case, the scdb provides a (searchable) space to offer such suggestions.

The inventory (through 28 July):

GP, 10/21/03: Bleached conditionals:
If Eskimos have N words for snow, X surely have M words for Y. [N and M numbers, X a group name] [Eskimo N] (scdb 5/31/07)

GP, 10/27/03: Phrases for lazy writers in kit form:
In space, no one can hear you V. [V a verb] (scdb 7/5/07)

ML, 12/2/03: Clear thinking campaign gives “fogged spectacles a bad name:
You (don’t) need a degree in X to do Y.

GP, 1/16/04: Snowclones: lexicographic dating to the second:
X is the new Y. [The New Y] (scdb 7/1/07)

GP, 1/18/04: Another snowclone:
An Xer shade of Y.

GP, 1/25/04: When did you first hear this pattern?:
The X that put the Y in(to) Z.

ML, 1/28/04: Snowclones are the dark matter of journalism:
X is the dark matter of Y. [Dark Matter] (scdb 12/18/07)

ML, 1/29/04: “I, for one, welcome our new * overlords”:
I, for one, welcome our new X overlords. [Our New Overlords] (scdb 5/22/07)

ML, 1/29/04: In Soviet Russia, snowclones overuse you:
In X1 you V Y; in X2 Y Vs you. [X1 and X2 placenames] (scdb 5/22/07)

ML, 1/30/04: The memetic phylogeny of “our new * overlords”:
[variants of:]
Our New Overlords

ML, 2/6/04: “Snowclone” as a chart R&B song:
[about the term snowclone]

ML, 2/21/04: Who is to be master?
No X is too Y to avoid Z. [and variants]

ML, 3/3/04: Expression’s vast varieties:
Eskimo N

ML, 3/4/04: The Eskimos, Arabs, Somalis, Carrier .. and English:
Eskimo N

ML. 3/18/04: The backpack of it all:
The X of it all. [The X of It All]

ML, 3/19/04: Putting the X in Y:
We put the X in(to) Y. [Put the X in Y]

ML, 3/24/04: Cuteness:
Crunchy X goodness. [Crunchy Goodness]

ML, 3/27/04: X are from Mars, Y are from Venus:
X are from Mars, Y are from Venus. [Mars, Venus]

ML, 4/7/04: X nazi:
X Nazi [snowclonelet]

ML, 4/25/04: Have X, will travel:
Have X will travel. (scdb 7/20/07)

ML, 7/3/04: Not the * I know: Let * be *:
Not the X I know.
Let X be X.

ML, 10/21/04: Snowclone sightings:
Xs don’t V people.
Will the real X please stand up?

AZ, 11/27/04: Twos and threes:

ML, 12/14/04: Religious syntax:
X is a verb [Is a Verb]
(labeled as a snowclone here: )

ML, 1/7/05: Homeric objects of desire:
Mmm… X. [Simpson’s Mmm]

ML, 1/25/05: * me P and call me *:
V me P and call me X. [V Me P And]

ML, 2/27/05: Smart kids:
Every schoolboy knows X. [Every Schoolboy]

ML, 3/27/05: Liberalism is the new communism:
The New Y [for Y = communism]

AZ, 5/17/05: Once a snowclone, always a snowclone:
Once a X, always a X. [Once, Always]

ML, 5/17/05: Antique snowclones:
Once, Always

AZ, 5/18/05: The hounds of ADS-L:
Once, Always

AZ, 5/21/05: An avalanchlet of snowclones:
The X that is Y.
One man’s X is another man’s Y. [One Man’s X]
Color me X. [Color Me]

[comments on:]
Once, Always
The New Y

[vs. cliches with open slots, like:]
The wonderful world of X.

ML, 6/2/05: X-ing outside the Y:
X-ing outside the Y. [Outside the Box]

EB, 6/2/05: That’s why they call it X:
That’s why they call it X.

ML, 6/3/05: Polysemy in action:
That why they call it X.

AZ, 7/3/05: What is this ‘snowclone’ of which you speak?:
What is this X of which you speak?

AZ, 7/4/05: Documenting snowclones, dating them:
[origin and spread of snowclones]
What is this X of which you speak?

ML, 7/14/05: A few players short of a side:
A few Xs short/shy of a Y. [A Few Short] (scdb 10/3/07)

ML, 8/2/05: Illustrations:
[cartoon of] What is this X of which you speak?

EB, 8/23/05: You can call it X all you want:
That’s why they call it X.

ML, 8/31/06: New Orleans is essentially an arm of the Gulf of Mexico:
X is essentially Y. [dubious as snowclone]

ML, 9/13/05: Two, three… many prefabricated phrases:
Two, three, many Xs.

ML, 9/26/05: Wikipedia on Simpsons words:
I, for one, welcome our new X overlords.
Mmm, X.

AZ, 10/12/05: What is this Harvard?:
What is this X of which you speak?

AZ, 10/12/05: Playing one:
Play One, esp.
I’m not X, but/though I play one on TV.
I’m not X, I just play one on TV. (scdb 8/17/07)

AZ, 10/12/05: To snowclone or not to snowclone:
To X or not to X. (scdb 8/31/07)

AZ, 10/13/05: Playing one 2:
Play One.

AZ, 10/16/05: Playing one 3:
Play One.

AZ, 10/18/05: Critical tone for a new snowclone:
[playful allusions vs. snowclones proper]
Eye Guy.

AZ, 10/19/05: My big fat Greek snowclone:
[playful allusions vs. snowclones proper]
Eye Guy. Shocked Shocked. Holy Batman. vs.
Play One. Big Fat.

AZ, 10/28/05: Is splanchnic just another word for schmuck?:
Eskimo N

EB, 11/14/05: Snowclone shortening:
X eats, drinks, and sleeps Y. [Eat Drink Sleep]

BZ, 11/15/05: Eating, drinking, sleeping snowclones:
Eat Drink Sleep [and variants]

BZ, 11/16/05: Eating, drinking, sleeping snowclones, part 2: The early years:
Eat Drink Sleep

BZ, 12/5/05: Snowclones hit the big time:
[from Danyel Fisher,
X, the hidden epidemic.
X, the second-oldest profession.
X considered harmful.

ML, 2/4/06: The proper treatment of snowclones in ordinary English:
[discussion of playful allusions vs. snowclones proper; reference to Wikipedia:
The proper treatment of X in Y.

AZ, 2/20/06: Not your mother’s snowclone:
Not your R’s X. [R a kin term]

BZ, 2/25/06: No snowclone left behind:
No X left behind.
We are all X now.

ML, 3/1/06: Crazy talk:
X is crazy talk.

BZ, 3/2/06: Tracking snowclones is hard. Let’s go shopping:
X is hard. Let’s go shopping! [Hard Shopping] (scdb 2/19/08)
also: BZ, 3/11/06: A pirated Barbie-ism:
[snowclone database 2/19/08]

ML, 3/3/06: The entire United States wept:
[links to collections of snowclones]

ML, 3/5/06: Noclone:
An X is someone who knows the Y of everything and the Z of nothing.

ML, 3/7/06: The agenbite of Onion wit:

ML, 3/7/06: Brokeback generalizations:
Brokeback X

ML, 3/9/06: Respect:
[BZ comment on] Best. X. Ever.

AZ, 3/9/06: More brokeback generalizations:
Brokeback X [arguing that this is just allusion and semantic extension]

ML, 3/10/06: Best. Snowclone. Evar:
Best X Evar.

BZ, 3/11/06: A pirated Barbie-ism:
Hard Shopping

ML, 3/13/06: X-back Mountain:
X-back Mountain.

AZ, 3/13/06: Snowclone Mountain?:
X-back Mountain. [arguing it’s just playful allusion]

ML, 3/17/06: It’s not hard out here for a cliche:
It’s hard out (t)here for a X. [Hard Out]

ML, 3/19/06: Not nearly hard enough:
[cartoon on] It’s hard out here for a X. [Hard Out]

EB, 3/21/06: How’s this for ambiguity?:
[variant of] It’s X’s world, we just live in it.

ML, 3/21/06: It’s X’s world, we just live in it:
It’s X’s world, we just live in it. [X a personal name] [X’s World]

AZ, 3/23/06: I found my snowclone in Palo Alto:
I left my X in San Francisco. [and other variants]

AZ, 4/18/06: All that and talk about Fight Club:
The first rule of X is that you do not/don’t talk about X. [First Rule]
Be all that and a X. [Be All That And]

ML, 6/6/06: Springtime for snowclones:
It’s springtime for X, and…

GP, 7/9/06: Snowclones of linguification:
Can’t even spell/pronounce W.
Not know the meaning of W.
W isn’t in X’s dictionary/vocabulary.
W is not in L.
W is X’s middle name.
W and V are (not) found in the same U.
Look up W in the dictionary and you’ll find a picture of X.
Hate the word W.
Not know the name of X.
Hear the word W and reach for one’s N.

ML, 7/28/06: X as the Y of Z:
X as the Y of Z. (scdb 12/18/07, 12/30/08)

AZ, 8/4/06: Who died and made you the king of snowclones?:
Who died and made you X? [Who Died?]

GP, 8/29/06: Science is… a verb??:
X is a verb [Is a Verb]

ML, 9/17/06: David Brooks, neuroendocrinologist:
X Is Destiny

AZ, 11/11/06: Fully awesome!:
The New Y

AZ, 11/11/06: Unblogged snowclones:
[21 previously unblogged snowclones (or whatever), plus The New Y]
Now if you will excuse me I have a X to Y
I’m from X and I’m here to help (you)
not the Xest Y in the Z (scdb 10/3/07)
Don’t X me because I’m Y
X-y McXerson
Hardly/Not a X goes by without Y
We don’t need no stinking/stinkin’/steenkin’ Xs (scdb 7/27/07)
If that’s X, every Y should be so lucky
Yes, Virginia, [mildly improbable statement is true] (scdb 10/12/07)
X does not a Y make
X gone wild
Take X and shove/stick it
There’s a lot we don’t know about X
As a X, N is a great Y
Busier than a X [someplace]
That’s not a X; this is a X (scdb 9/18/07)
N is the M of X
There’s no rest for the X
Whatever Vs your X (scdb 12/10/07)
X me no Ys (scdb 9/18/07)

ML, 11/12/06: Be a famous footnote:
Our New Overlords

ML, 11/12/06: Prancing about with Jack McConnells pants on your head does not a news story make:
X does not a Y make [Does Not A]

ML, 11/19/06: Fomite: panacea or backformation?:
X: panacea or Y?

ML, 11/21/06: Snowclones in the New Scientist:
Mother of all Xs [Mother of All]

HH, 12/3/06: Art, arts, arting, arted:
Is a Verb

AZ, 12/21/06: Bad lingo:
Best. X. Ever., X-y Goodness, Makes My Y Bleed, X-gasm, The New Y

AZ, 12/28/06: A little more of The New Y:
The New Y

BZ, 12/28/06: On the trail of “the new black” (and “the navy blue”):
The New Y

AZ, 1/18/07: A full year of The New Y:
The New Y

AZ, 1/20/07: Zippy on formulaic language:
X3, Proportional Analogy (X is to Y as Z is to W), Are we X yet?

ML, 1/21/07: Doing meta: from meta-language to meta-clippy:
Anything You Can Do

ML, 1/22/07: X ist das neues Y:
The New Y

ML, 3/20/07: Snowclones for Jesus:
X for Jesus

ML, 4/6/07: All X and no Y:
All X and No Y

AZ, 4/16/07: X’s X:
X’s X

BZ, 4/18/07: Poignant snowclone of the week:
We Are All X Now

HH, 6/25/07: Cheeseclones!:
Eskimo N [French names for cheese]

ML, 6/27/07: Snowclone of the day:
variant of Eskimo N

ML, 7/3/07: Considered harmful:
Considered harmful

AZ, 7/14/07: Negative is the new positive:
Are we X yet?, The New Y

ML, 7/24/07: Men are from …:
Men are from X, women are from Y

ML, 8/10/07: I am X, hear me Y:
I Am X Hear Me Y (scdb 8/10/07)

AZ, 8/11/07: Yet another snowclone omnibus:
27 snowclones since the last omnibus, including some from LLog postings (above), plus a cartoon on The New Y:

It’s X, Jim, but not as we know it.
X is to Y what Z is to Q [Proportional Analogy, #4070]
X is to Y what Z is to Y
I’m in ur Noun V-ing your Noun (scdb 10/19/07)
Save a X, ride a Y (scdb 7/13/07)
Sufficient unto the X is the Y thereof
You can’t X your Y and Z it too
Pimp my X
Stupid X tricks
If X are outlawed, only outlaws will have X [Outlaw]
A watched X never Ys
The once and future X
Nothing says X like Y
X: panacea or Y? [#3790]
Men are from X, women are from Y [#4744]
Are we X yet? [#4717, #4070]
The X from hell
X City
As X falls, so falls X Falls
X for Jesus [#4322]
X’s X [#4411]
Step away from the X
various lolcat snowclones [#4442, 4485, 4500, 4507, 4508]
various Mc- formulas
X considered harmful [#4675]
I am X, hear me Y [#4811]
He may be a X but he’s our X

ML, 8/25/07: “X and its enemies”:
X and its enemies, X and its discontents

BZ. 9/17/07: Snowclone collectors, call your offices:
X, call your office

ML, 9/22/07: Ask Language Log: On a scale from one to snowclone:
On a scale from one to X

AZ, 9/23/07: On the fringes of snowclonia:
X, call your office
[playful allusions:
Unsafe P any X
A child’s garden of Xs
and others]
On a scale from one to X
From X’s lips/mouth to God’s ear [God’s Ear]
Who are you and what have you done with X? [Body Snatcher]

ML, 10/27/07: That didn’t take long:
riffs on: I Am America (And So Can You!)

GP, 10/31/07: And so can you (be):
riffs on: I Am America (And So Can You!)

AZ, 10/31/07: I am neither America nor a snowclone:
reply to previous two postings

AZ, 11/3/07: More Colbert:
further explanation

AZ, 12/16/07: What have you done with God’s ear?:
Body Snatcher, God’s Ear

AZ, 12/17/07: It’s not just to God’s ear(s):
God’s Ear

AZ, 3/13/08: Zippy snow(clone):

ML, 3/25/08: X as the Y of Z, again:
X as the Y of Z

AZ, 5/30/08: Zits roundup:
God’s Ear

ML, 6/9/08: Snowclone watch:
Happens In, Stays In
[see ]

AZ, 6/24/08: Are we snowcloning yet?:
Are We X Yet?

AZ, 9/26/08: Cartoon linguification:
“not know the meaning of X”

AZ, 10/19/08: Giveth and taketh:

ML, 11/5/08: Obama is the Y of Z:
X as the Y of Z

AZ, 12/11/08: Gay day (and virgins):
Day Without X, call in X, stage an X-out, [snowclonelet] X virgin

AZ, 12/14/08: More virgins:
X virgin

BZ, 12/20/08: The Rosa Parks of blogs:
X is the Y of Z

BZ, 1/13/09: Consider the X:
Consider the X

ML, 1/28/09: ‘No word for X’ archive:
inventory of postings on the No Word for X meme

ML, 2/16/09: Progress and its enemies:
X and Its Ys [variations on Civilization and Its Discontents, etc.]

ML, 2/24/09: Snowclone of the day:
X-ready [just playful allusion?]

Snowclonelet composites

X fag, X porn, X queen, X rage, X virgin, X whore
[more in comments: X hag, X fairy]

AZ, 4/4/09: All the Y of a Z:
X requires all the Y of a Z

BZ, 4/4/09: X is the Y of Z: pop music edition:
X as the Y of Z

The whole X

The Whole X

AZ, 4/11/09: Snowclidioms?:
The Whole X

fold like a cheap X

Fold Like a Cheap X


Are We X Yet?

BZ, 6/30/09: Doing stupid:
[in comment from BZ] I don’t do X [X noun or adjective]

Jokes and snowclones

possible snowclonish joke templates

3 Responses to “Inventory of snowclone postings”

  1. Nathan Myers Says:

    Let us not neglect

  2. Erin Says:

    Thank you for the inventory, I will have to refer to this when I do new write-ups!

  3. Playful allusion « Arnold Zwicky’s Blog Says:

    […] this phenomenon from snowclones; see the “playful allusion” postings in the inventory here. Every so often I’m tickled by a particular playful allusion, as I was this morning by the […]

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