UnSource:List of snowclones

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The following is a list of snowclones roughly ordered by known year of original usage. Single capital letters (such as X) indicate where new words are inserted in order to create variations on the original phrase.

This list originated on the English-language Wikipedia, where it has been deleted. Content is licensed under the GFDL.

Origin dates unknown[edit]

  • If Eskimos have N words for snow, X surely have Y words for Z.[1]
  • X is the MIT of Y.
See MIT in popular culture.
  • X is like Y on steroids.
Variant: X is like Y on acid. (Date unknown, but steroids gained much of their notoriety in the late 1980's after Ben Johnson and others were unmasked for their misuse during the 1988 Seoul olympic games)
  • Will X for food.
Original X: "work" (Traditional sign of panhandlers)
A variant, "Will work for Y" or "Will X for Y", is also used but is less common
  • Sometimes a(n) X is just a(n) X.
Original X: "cigar"; attributed to Sigmund Freud but seems to have been made up or at best paraphrased.

Origin dates known[edit]

  • X delenda est.
Original X: "Carthago"; commonly attributed to Cato the Elder. Latin for "Carthage must be destroyed." (c. 157 BC)
  • All roads lead to X.
Original X: "Rome"; from the time of the Roman Empire. (c. 0 BC or thereafter)
  • To X, or not to X?
Original X: "be"; from Hamlet (c. 1600)
  • X of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your Y.
Original X: workers, Y: chains, the closing lines from The Communist Manifesto issued by Marx in 1848 as one of the founding documents of communism. "Dyslexics of the world, untie!" is one common variant. X: zombies, Y: brains also works.
  • Yes, Virginia, there is a(n) X. (Sometimes "Yes, X, there is a(n) Y.")
Original X: "Santa Claus"; from the 21 Sept. 1897 editorial by Francis Pharcellus Church in the New York Sun.
Original X: "Lobby Lud"; from a publicity stunt by the Westminster Gazette (1927, Chiefly British)
  • Brother, can you spare a X?
Original X: dime, Depression Era song by Yip Harburg and Jay Gorney. (1931)
  • X for fun and profit.
Original X: "Collecting stamps" from a series of how-to books by Archie Fredrick Collins, beginning in 1936, which inspired similar titles like Make Your Own Movies for Fun and Profit and Cartooning for Fun and Profit (1930s)
  • Y is the greatest thing since X.
Original X: "sliced bread"; from reaction to Wonder Bread advertising campaign (1930s)
  • Is that an X in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
Original X: "gun"; Spoken by Mae West to Cary Grant in She Done Him Wrong (1933)
  • The Joy of X
Original X: "cooking"; A cookbook first self-published by St. Louis widow Irma Rombauer and her daughter Marion Becker in 1936, with at least nine different editions served up in its more than seventy-five years of continuous publication. Other titles, often unrelated to the original book and authors, emerged later and range from "The Joy of Baking" to "The Joy of Painting" (a PBS-TV show) and Dr. Alex Comfort's "The Joy of Sex" (a book series which aimed to emulate the cookbook-like approach of the original, eventually itself used as a model by authors of tomes such as "The Joy of Gay Sex").
  • X and Y and Z, oh my!
Original X: "lions"; Y: "tigers"; Z:"bears", from the film The Wizard of Oz, 1939. The phrase has since appeared in lyrics for various songs. [2]
  • This is my X. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
Original X: "rifle," from the United States Marine Corps Rifleman's Creed, popularized in the film Full Metal Jacket. (Original 1940s, popularized 1987)
  • X? We don't need no stinkin' X.
Original X: "badges"; misquote from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre popularised by the film Blazing Saddles. (Original 1948, popularized 1974)
I'm in your X, Ying your Z.
  • Will the real X please stand up?
Signature line from the TV game show To Tell the Truth, popularized by Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" song (Original 1956, popularized 2000)
  • Have X, will travel.
Original X: "gun"; from title of old US TV western Have Gun — Will Travel (1957)
  • It's 10PM. Do you know where your X are?
Original X: "children", from a public-service announcement on Buffalo's WKBW-TV (and later New York's WNYW-TV). (Original 1960s, remained in use for at least a few decades on various stations)
  • X is the new Y.
Original X: "pink"; original Y: "black"; commonly attributed to Gloria Vanderbilt, see: The new black (Original 1960s, popularized 1980s)
  • Dammit, Jim! I'm an X, not a Y!
Original X: "doctor", original Y: "magician"; from a famous misquotation of a line from Star Trek. (c. 1966)
  • X May Be Hazardous To Your Health
Original X: "smoking", from the original U.S. warnings on tobacco packages "Caution: Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous to Your Health" (1966) and "Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health." (1970, at which point cigarette ads were banned from TV/radio - the ads continued in printed magazines for several years thereafter.)
  • It's X Jim, but not as we know it!
Original X: "life"; the original was based on Star Trek and made well-known by the novelty song Star Trekkin' in 1987.
  • X considered harmful.
Original X: "Go To Statement"; from title of a letter about computer programming languages by Edsger Dijkstra (1968, chiefly computer science)
  • No X Please: We're Y.
Original: "No Sex Please: We're British", a stage play (1971) and film (1973). Adopted much later as the slogan ("NoChex please, we're British") of a UK-based online payment processor.
  • These aren't the X you're looking for.
Original X: "droids"; from Star Wars (1977)
  • In space, no one can hear you X.
Original X: "scream"; from tagline for Alien (1979). Variously "In n-space, no one can hear you scream" (among mathematicians) or "In cyberspace, no one can hear you scream" (among computer scientists).
  • X 2: Electric Boogaloo
Original X: "Breakin'"; from movie title Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984)
  • I'm not an X, but I play one on TV.
Original X: "doctor," commercial for Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup; see [3] (1985)
  • I love my big gay X
Original X: "son"; misquoted "dead gay son," from Heathers (1989)
  • Mmm, X...
Original X: "marshmallows"; Signature phrase of Homer Simpson, first used in episode "There's No Disgrace Like Home" (1990)
  • The mother of all X
Original X: "battles"; translation of 'Uum al-M'aarak, the Iraqi name for the Gulf War (1990)
All your X are belong to us. You will not survive, make your time HA HA HA!
  • All your X are belong to us.
Original X: "base"; from All your base Internet meme (Original 1992, popularized 2001)
  • Got X?
Original X: "milk"; from advertisements by the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board (1993)
  • I, for one, welcome our new X overlords.
Original X: "insect"; from The Simpsons episode "Deep Space Homer" (1994)
  • Tough on X, tough on the causes of X.
Original X: "crime", probably from a speech by Tony Blair to the Labour Party conference (1994).
  • This is not your father's X
Original X: "Oldsmobile"; famous bellyflop in advertising (1995)
  • No X for you!
Original X: "Soup"; from Seinfeld episode "The Soup Nazi" (1995)
  • Oh my God, they killed X!
Original X: "Kenny"; Signature line from South Park (1997)
  • First Rule of X is, you do NOT talk about X.
Original X: "fight club"; from the book of the same name, but popularised by the film (1999)
  • X, N dollars. Y? Priceless.
Strapline from MasterCard advertising campaign (2000)
  • If we X then the terrorists have won.
Original X: "give in to fear, if we aren't able to do these simple and ordinary things"; from an October 15, 2001 open letter by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Frank Pierson. See: The terrorists have won (2001)
  • I'm in your X, Ying your Z.
Brain-dead Internet meme. Appears to be from an online video game, circa 2006.[4] Original is I'm In Your Base Killin' Your Dudes, signifying defeat. Various images posted online bear slogans like (a cat) "I'm in your 'fridge, eating your foodz" or (Hitler) "I'm in your country, killing your j00z".[5][6] Other possible variants could include (a cat) "I'm in your pots, eating your stews", "I'm in your .mp3's, stealing your tunes", "I'm in your Internetz, blocking your tubez", "I'm in your stash, drinking your booze" or "I'm in your porn, stealing your n00dz".
  • I used to X but then I took an arrow in the knee.
Original X: "be an adventurer like you" a stock phrase of the city guards from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011). Not particularly popular today: will provoke angry reactions from many fans of the game.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]