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There are a number of specific types of saying:
- Adage – An aphorism that has gained credibility by virtue of long use.
- Aphorism – A concise definition, notably memorable.
- Apophthegm – "…an edgy, more cynical aphorism; such as, 'Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.'"
- Bromide – A phrase or platitude that, having been employed excessively, suggests insincerity or a lack of originality in the speaker employing it.
- Cliché – An overly commonplace, hackneyed or trite saying.
- Epigram – A poetic form of comment on a particular idea, occurrence, or person.
- Epithet – A descriptive word or phrase that has become a popular formulation.
- Gnome (Greek: gnome, from gignoskein, to know). A type of saying, especially an aphorism or a maxim, that is designed to provide instruction in a compact form.
- Idiom – "…an expression whose meaning can’t be derived simply by hearing it, such as 'Kick the bucket.'"
- Mantra – A religious or mystical syllable or poetic phrase.
- Maxim – A principle or rule. A maxim is a wise saying, especially one intended to advise or recommend a course of conduct. In comparison to its approximate synonyms: saying, adage, saw, motto, epigram, proverb, aphorism, the term maxim stresses the succinct formulation of an ultimate truth, a fundamental principle, or a rule of conduct. The word derives from the Latin word maximus, "greatest", via an expression maxima propositio, "greatest premise".
- Motto – A concise expression of motivation used by a group or individual
- Platitude – A flat, insipid, trite, or weak remark.
- Proverb – An expression of practical truth or wisdom.
- Quip – A witty or funny observation.
- Saw – A saying that is commonplace, longstanding and occasionally trite.
- Witticism – A smart saying, notable for its form or style rather than its content.
- Randall, Bernice (1991). When is a Pig a Hog?: A Guide to Confoundingly Related English Words. New York: Galahad Books.
- Rovin, Jeff (1994). What’s the Difference? A Compendium of Commonly Confused and Misused Words. New York: Ballantine Books.