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"Catch phrase" redirects here. For other uses, see Catch phrase (disambiguation).
A man and a youth, each leading a horse. Advertising catch phrase: buy me and you'll get a good bargain. Attic black-figured lekythos, Louvre museum

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 or literal "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.


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."[1] It is also seen as "a peculiarity of phrasing; especially a word or expression characteristic of a region, group, or cultural level."[2]


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.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Free Dictionary definition. Accessed 24 December 2012."
  2. ^ Merriam-Webster definition. Accessed 24 December 2012.
  3. ^ Pawlowski, A (March 9, 2009). "You talkin' to me? Film quotes stir passion". CNN. Retrieved January 21, 2010. 

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