To coin a phrase

Posted by Masakim on April 13, 2003

In Reply to: To coin a phrase posted by ESC on April 13, 2003

: : Does anyone know the origins of 'coined the phrase'?
: : Thanks !

: This is all I could find:

: COIN A PHRASE, TO - "To invent a phrase, which if it is apt or imaginative may gain currency, and become popular generally. Today this phrase is mostly used ironically to accompany a banal remark or cliché. 'Who, to coin a phrase, would have thought of meeting you?' Ngaio Marsh: Hand in Glove, ch iv " From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition).

*to coin a phrase* is a hackneyed phrase used by some people not to introduce a phrase which they have just invented but to introduce a well-known cliche, as _To coin a phrase, the police will throw the book at him_. The expression is American in origin and became popular in Britain in the middle of twentieth century. It is still widespread today, sometimes, but by no means always, being used humorously or ironically.
From _Cliches_ by Betty Kirkpatrick
It takes all sorts to make a world, to coin a phrase. (F.B. Young, _ Mr. Lucton's Freedom_, 1940)
You look (to coin a phrase) "in the pink." (G. Hackforth-Jones, _The Worst Enemy_, 1950)

See also - The meaning and origin of 'coin a phrase'.