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hackney - vocabulary

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  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips
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To make stale or trite by frequent use or repetition.

Note: As a noun, hackney means a carriage or coach for hire. As a proper noun, Hackney is an English breed of horses with high-stepping gaits. As a verbal adjective, hackneyed means banal or trite because of frequent use or repetition.

The Americans ... have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on an amusing and animated conversation without giving a moment’s reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication.

—W. Somerset Maugham Cakes and Ale (1930)

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