Q & A of the Week 你问我答
Catchphrase 名言,警句

Question and Answer: What is a catchphrase?

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Programme Summary 节目梗概

This week's question comes from the city of Guizhou. Du Yang asked us what a catchphrase is.

A catchphrase is a short sentence or expression that usually a famous comedian or TV presenter will use. The person will be famous for that catchphrase.

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond with an Aston Martin car
The name's Bond, James Bond

Sometimes these catchphrases become so popular that English speakers will use them.

Famous people use catchphrases as advertising. It's like a brand for them to help make them or their characters more memorable.

There are a lot of catchphrases you might know used in films and TV programmes. James Bond is a famous around the world and his catchphrase is "The name's Bond, James Bond".

Homer Simpson is the father in the fictional animation series The Simpsons. He says "Doh!" a lot when he has done something stupid (and he often does stupid things) and that has become his catchphrase.

Lots of English speakers now also say "Doh!" when they have done something stupid. Catchphrases often become part of everyday English.

Boxer Muhammad Ali in the 1970s
Muhammad Ali "I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee"

Another famous catchphrase in the programme was from boxer Muhammad Ali, famous in the 1960s and 1970s. He said "I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" to describe his successful boxing style.

Films often produce catchphrases too. For example when Clark Gable in 1930s film Gone with the Wind said to Vivien Leigh, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn".

Thank you Du Yang for your question. Send us any language questions you might have to questions.chinaelt@bbc.co.uk. Your question might just be on our website so keep reading this page!

Glossary 词汇


TV presenter





fictional animation series



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