A catchphrase (or catch-phrase) is a phrase or expression recognized by its repeated utterance. Such phrases often originate in popular culture and in the arts, and typically spread through a variety of mass media (such as literature and publishing, motion pictures, television and radio), as well as word of mouth. Some become the de facto "trademark" or "signature" of the person or character with whom they originated, and can be instrumental in the typecasting (beneficially or otherwise) of a particular actor.
According to Richard Harris, a psychology professor at Kansas State University who studied why people like to cite films in social situations, using film quotes in everyday conversation is similar to telling a joke and a way to form solidarity with others. "People are doing it to feel good about themselves, to make others laugh, to make themselves laugh", he said. He found that all of the participants in his study had used film quotes in conversation at one point or another. "They overwhelmingly cited comedies, followed distantly by dramas and action adventure flicks." Horror films, musicals and children's films were hardly ever cited.
The word locution is similar to catchphrase, being defined as "A particular word, phrase, or expression, especially one that is used by a particular person or group," and "style of speaking; phraseology." It is also seen as "a peculiarity of phrasing; especially a word or expression characteristic of a region, group, or cultural level."
- Partridge, Eric (1894–1979) ed. Beale. A Dictionary of Catch Phrases, American and British, from the sixteenth century to the present day (enlarged trade paperback edition) Lanham, Maryland: Scarborough House, 1992. ISBN 0-8128-8536-8. E-book ISBN 0-203-37995-0
- Rees, Nigel (2001), Oops, Pardon, Mrs Arden! An Embarrassment of Domestic Catchphrases, London: Robson Books, ISBN 1-86105-440-8
- Barba, Francesca (2012), Catchy Phrases: over 2000 Catchy Slogans Ideas, Powerful Copy Connectors, Catchy Phrases for Business Tag lines, Magnetic Blog Triggers, ....
Catch Phrase at TV Tropes