Snowclone postings

Snowclone postings (on Language Log and AZBlog)

snowclonelet composites (aka snowclonelets) have their own Page, here:

for some years, Erin Stevenson O’Connor maintained the Snowclone Database site (; in the list below, entries on this site are noted as: “scdb” + date

a number of the entries concern playful allusions of various kinds, rather than clear snowclones

GP, 10/21/03: Bleached conditionals:
If Eskimos have N words for snow, X have M words for Z [LLog #49]
[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.

ML, 1/14/04: Frozen precipitation in the networking infrastructure:
Eskimo N

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?:
Put the X in Y.

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]

AZ, 9/06/05: Call me… unpronounceable:
I [shape] X (treated as a snowclone on scdb)

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]

ML, 4/11/06: X is a Y best served Z:

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]
(scdb 1/4/11)
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?]

ML, 8/8/06: Out-X-ing X:

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:

Zits roundup

God’s Ear

ML, 6/9/08: Snowclone watch:

Snowclone watch

Happens In, Stays In
[see ]

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

Are we snowcloning yet?

Are We X Yet?

AZ, 9/26/08: Cartoon linguification:

Cartoon linguification

“not know the meaning of X”

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

Giveth and taketh


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

Obama is the Y of Z

X as the Y of Z

AZ, 12/11/08: Gay day (and virgins):

Gay day (and virgins)

Day Without X, call in X, stage an X-out, [snowclonelet] X virgin

AZ, 12/14/08: More virgins:

More virgins

X virgin

BZ, 12/20/08: The Rosa Parks of blogs:

The Rosa Parks of Blogs

X is the Y of Z

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

Consider the X

Consider the X (scdb 1/16/11)

ML, 1/28/09: ‘No word for X’ archive:

‘No word for X’ archive

inventory of postings on the No Word for X meme

ML, 2/16/09: Progress and its enemies:

Progress and its enemies

X and Its Ys [variations on Civilization and Its Discontents, etc.]

ML, 2/24/09: Snowclone of the day:

Snowclone of the day

X-ready [just playful allusion?]

3/29/09: Snowclonelet composites:

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:

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 is the Y of Z: pop music edition

X as the Y of Z

4/10/09: The whole X:

The whole X

The Whole X

AZ, 4/11/09: Snowclidioms?:


The Whole X

4/12/09: Fold like a cheap X:

fold like a cheap X

Fold Like a Cheap X

4/20/09: Yet?:


Are We X Yet?

BZ, 6/30/09: Doing stupid:

Doing stupid

[in comment from BZ] I don’t do X [X noun or adjective]

7/25/09: Jokes and snowclones:

Jokes and snowclones

possible snowclonish joke templates

7/29/09: Inventory of snowclone postings:

Inventory of snowclone postings

inventory through 7/28

ML, 7/29/09: Pop-Whorfianism in the comics again:

Pop-Whorfianism in the comics again

Eskimo N in the comics

ML, 7/30/09: 100 words for the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis:

100 words for the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

Eskimo N in the comics

9/19/09: Someday a bill will pass:

Someday, a Bill Will Pass

[playful allusion]

9/20/09: Engines that couldn’t:

Engines that could(n’t)

[playful allusion]

ML, 9/21/09: Garden-path lede sentence of the day:

Garden-path lede sentence of the day

[with comments]
That’s not an X; this is an X. (LLC #3765; scdb 12/10/07)

BZ, 11/9/09: The Cadillac of snowclones:

The Cadillac of snowclones

X as the Y of Z

11/18/09: Cultural references:

Cultural references

mau-mauing the N Vers [playful allusion]

BZ, 12/29/09: Leading the league in snowclones:

Leading the league in snowclones

leads the league in X

12/30/09: Lolcats in the snow:

Lolcats in the snow

Eskimo Snow

1/26/10: What’s P Your N:

What’s P YOUR N?

what’s P YOUR N?

GP, 2/2/10: Snowclonegate:



AZBlog, 3/2/10: Gimme shelter:

Gimme shelter

X porn snowclonelet

BZ, 4/2/10: 40 words for “next”:

40 words for “next”

Eskimo Snow



Define X

7/25/10: Bear music:

Bear music


ML, 10/30/10: The new black is back:

The new black is back

The New Y

6/8/11: Parasites and the body politic:

Parasites and the body politic

Parasite/Body Politic

6/10/11: Bodies politic:

Bodies politic

Parasite/Body Politic (and X3 and Bear-Eating)

8/2/11: Portmanteau cleverness plus drama kings:

Portmanteau cleverness, plus drama kings

drama queen/king

Nancy Friedman’s Fritinancy blog, 12/29/10: Snowclones happen:
X is so Y, every time an X Ys, a Z Ns, X happens

AZ, 7/11/11: X happens:

X happens

X happens

AZ, 8/5/11: More X happens:

More X happens

X happens

ML, 10/2/11: Putting the X in AXB:

Putting the X in AXB

BZ, 10/2/11: Who put the X in AXB: Snowclone follies of 1912:

Who Put the X in AXB: Snowclone Follies of 1912

put the X in Y

ML, 10/9/11: Altar Ego:

Altar Ego

GP, 12/12/11: Eskimos again, this time seeing the invisible:

Eskimos again, this time seeing the invisible

Eskimo N

GP, 12/21/11: Octoporn:


12/21/11: Eskimo N in Texas politics:

Eskimo N in Texas politics

Eskimo N

12/22/11: Dinosaur snowclone:

Dinosaur snowclone

Eskimo N

5/6/12: The All Are Belong snowclone:

The All Are Belong snowclone

All Are Belong (scdb 1/10/11)

ML, 6/15/12: “The last acceptable form of ”:

“The last acceptable form of <SomeImmoralAttitude>”

Last Acceptable

6/18/12: Dammit, Jim:

Dammit Jim

(Dammit Jim,) I’m an X, not a Y!

6/21/12: The New Y for Zippy:

The New Y for Zippy

The New Y

7/3/12: What part of X don’t you understand?:

What part of X don’t you understand?

What Part of X?

7/24/12: Outlaws with puns:

Outlaws with puns


BZ, 11/8/12: “We are all the other now”:

Multilingual voting signs

We Are All X Now

ML, 1/11/13: Overestimating, underestimating, whatever:

Overestimating, underestimating, whatever

Not Going Broke [playful allusion?]

4/4/13: Taco sauce:

Taco sauce

Let the X Commence

4/18/15: Artificial elephants and X Must Die! movies:
X Must Die [as a movie title]

8/25/15: Going better with:
Nothing Goes Better with X than Y – weakly conventionalized
Nothing Says X like Y

8/26/15: Nothing says A like B:
Nothing Says X like Y – snowclone-like

3/22/17: The news for beavers:
Real Men
Save X, VP(BSE)

1/2/18: Between Parody and Pastiche:
possibly a snowclonic figure Where Xs Go To Die (where Xs = elephants, dreams, stars, ships, birds, pigeons, good girls, the dead, …)

5/3/18: Eskimo N in Britain:
Eskimo N

5/14/18: Fenwick the semi-generic:
The phrase “Eat at Joe’s” is a complementary fictional or hypothetical typical advertisement for such an establishment, and has itself become a snowclone in the form of X at Joe’s, Eat at Y’s, or simply X at Y’s.

6/3/18: What happened in vagueness?:
Happens In, Stays In (link to ML 6/9/08)

7/21/18: Swiss America:
The Switzerland of America, an instance of the larger analogical snowclone pattern X is the Y of Z

8/8/18: The elephant in therapy:
Put the X in AXB (links to GP 1/25/04, ML 3/19/04, ML 10/2/11)

11/29/18: Swiss Tasmania:
The Switzerland of Tasmania; The X of Y

12/27/18: The family of Word Inclusion snowclones:
Keep X In AXB, Put X (Back) In(to) AXB, Take X Out of AXB

12/28/18: Yet another Switzerland:
Lake Sevan, the Switzerland of Armenia

2/1/19: The natural history of snowclones:
Stanford SemFest 20 abstract

2/5/19: The thread drifted in my direction:
X’s X (a politician’s politician, a linguist’s linguist)

2/13/19: Allusions to titles past:
playful variations on, allusions to, formulaic expressions

2/19/19: Wading with Vladimir and Estragon:
playful variations on the title Waiting for Godot

3/12/19: The SemFest 20 handout:
“The natural history of snowclones” handout, with many examples

3/16/19: le naufrage, le naufragé:
X is the Y of Z

3/17/19: V me, I’m Irish:
playful variations on Kiss me, I’m Irish

4/4/19: Ed (the) Ped:
X Are Everywhere

4/13/19: Easter egg quotations:
3X BE snowclone; playful variations; snowcloning

4/20/19: Will the real Zippy please stand up?:
Will the real X please stand up?: playful variations on the identity formula; persona snowclone Real X

5/18/19: Ostentatiously playful allusions:
OPAs and Easter egg quotations; 3 OPAs in an issue of the Economist: Nock, Nock; Sunset brouhaha; Do tapirs defecate in the woods?

5/22/19: What a piece of work is Miss Lucille:
X is the Y of Z: “Mr McGregor’s quite the Darth Vader of children’s literature”

6/9/19: Lemon is the vanilla of Italian ices:
another X is the Y of Z

6/12/19: Follow-up: things that make the world go ’round:
X Makes the World

6/17/19: Trix is for kids:
playful allusions

1/3/20: The penguinocalypse:
snowclones vs. specific viral expressions

5/24/20: Zippy for President:
survey of Zippyclone postings

%d bloggers like this: