Ever wondered what the newspapers really mean when they talk in clichés? Here’s your cut-out-and-keep cliché glossary that’s been doing the rounds on email:

Short, old female

Flamboyant: Homosexual

Controversial: He did something bad but we’re not sure what


Informed source: Reads the newspaper

Confirmed bachelor:
See “Flamboyant”

We can’t find it on a map

Venerable: Should be dead but isn’t (eg Gough Whitlam)

Knowledgable observer: The reporter

Knowledgable observers: The reporter and the person at the next desk


Guru: see “Self-styled”

Screen Legend: Reporter is too young to remember his movies

Teen idol: Reporter is too old to have heard of him

According to published reports: We got scooped

Embattled: He should quit

Troubled youth: arsonist

Scrappy: a runt

Beloved: Someone who’s been around so long no-one can stand them any more (eg Bert Newton)

Hero firefighter:
He put out a fire

Hero cop
: He got killed.

Honour student: Dead kid registered for classes somewhere.

Recently: We lost the press release

First in the modern history of …: no entries in NewsLink

Never: Not in NewsLink or Google

Source who spoke on condition of anonymity:
PR flack

Prestigious: Has indoor plumbing

Exclusive neighbourhood/school/club:
The reporter can’t get in.

Mean streets: Slums

Hasn’t been hit by a bus so far

Allegedly: He did it but we can’t prove it

Shocking revelation:
Leaked on a slow news day

Highly placed source:
One who would talk

Her picture was printed somewhere

Beautiful: A woman who’s been savagely murdered

Blonde: see “beautiful”

And there’s plenty more where these came from. Read the full list on the Crikey website here.