Killer Phrases

Killer Phrases

Words that kill imagination, creativity, exploration, and wonder in children also provide challenges for adults to overcome.  Faced with real world problems, we need every critical thought we can generate, even if it is outside the box.

The phrases become killers when used to shut people down, stop looking for better ways, terminate exploration, and close down wonder.

Killer Phrases 2012-04-22 update


Be ladylike.   (Emma Rosenthal)

Be practical...

Because I said so. (Richard Ewald)

Behave. (Loren Miller)

Children are to be seen and not heard (Richard C. Brown)

Crucify yourself daily.

Crucify yourself in imitation of the crucified Christ

Do you realize the paper it will create?

Don’t be so disruptive.   (Emma Rosenthal)

Don’t be so negative.   (Emma Rosenthal)

Don't be ridiculous.

Don't fight city hall.

Don't rock the boat.

Don't waste time thinking.

Focus on the positive.   (Emma Rosenthal)



Get a committee to look into this.

Get over it!

Great idea, but not for us.

Have you heard that one before? ex-xians. (Nerdless)

I am going to beat the bjesus out of you. (Richard C. Brown)

I don't have time.

If it ain't broke...

I'll get back to you.

I'm the one that gets paid to think.

It can't be done!

It has been like this since Cain and Abel!

it isn't the right time.  (Emma Rosenthal)

It'll be more trouble than it's worth.

It'll never fly.

It'll never work.

It's just human nature.  (Chris Barna)

It's not in the budget.

It's not your responsibility.

It's out of scope.

It's too far ahead of its time.

Just Remember things you love about your husband.

Kill them with love and kindness. (Richard C. Brown)

Let's get a committee to look into this.

Let's stick with what works.



Obviously, you misread my request.

Oh, you can’t reason with children. (Richard Ewald)

People don't want change.

Put it in writing.

Rejoice in your crucifixion.

That sounds like something my kids would say.

That’s not polite.   (Emma Rosenthal)

That's irrelevant.

That's not in your job description.

The boss will never go for it.

The competition will eat you alive.

The poor will be with us always!

They can kill u but can’t eat u. (Richard C. Brown).

This isn’t the time.

This isn't the place.   (Emma Rosenthal)

Turn the other cheek.

War is war!

We agree to disagree. (Richard Ewald)

We have to appeal to (white) middle America (though they never SAY ‘white.’)   (Emma Rosenthal)

We haven't got the manpower.

Well, that’s your opinion. (Richard Ewald)

Well-behaved women RARELY make history! (Loren Miller)

We've always done it this way!

We've done all right so far.

We've tried that before.

What will people say?

When we are weak, He is strong. (Nerdless)

Women should be silent in church.


You can't legislate morality!

You can't teach old dog new tricks.

You just want to make trouble!

You’re being divisive.   (Emma Rosenthal 

You’re too extreme.   (Emma Rosenthal)

You're too young.

You've got to be kidding.

Members: 13
Latest Activity: Jun 3, 2016

Discussion Forum

"Get over it" a Killer Phrase

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 3, 2016. 7 Replies

Have you noticed how people find ways to discount, trivialize, deny, demonize others who speak the truth? These are what I call "Killer phrases." "Get over it" is a perfect example of what I mean. My…Continue

Arrogant bosses cover insecurity

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 3, 2016. 3 Replies

Identifying the Arrogant Boss set off a light bulb.Arrogance is characterized by a pattern of behavior that…Continue

Tags: arrogance

Backbone Zone

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Steph S. Oct 28, 2012. 4 Replies

Backbone Zone has some good posters about verbal violence.…Continue

Tags: Backbone zone posters

Rape Joke verbal assault

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by annet Jul 15, 2012. 3 Replies

Anatomy of a Successful Rape JokeThis entrenched mysogenistic verbal violence makes me sick.…Continue

Tags: humor as verbal violence

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Killer Phrases to add comments!

Comment by Grinning Cat on June 3, 2016 at 9:35am

I noticed "we agree to disagree" on the list above. That not only kills the conversation, but carries a subtext that both points of view are equally valid, equally moral, equally right for a society. (Sound familiar? :)

That's especially hurtful when one side is a group simply trying to live and let live, and the other is trying to force them into a narrow, restrictive, often conservative-religion-inspired box.

Comment by The Mad Humanist on March 24, 2015 at 5:03pm

"You'll understand when you grow up."

Comment by Idaho Spud on March 19, 2015 at 1:24pm

"I'll give you something to cry about!"

Comment by sk8eycat on March 19, 2015 at 1:22pm


Comment by Grinning Cat on March 19, 2015 at 11:05am

In ancient Rome, it was theoretically legal for a father to do precisely that.

Comment by sk8eycat on March 19, 2015 at 4:04am

"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."  (I never heard that until I listened to my first Bill Cosby record....)

Comment by Grinning Cat on March 19, 2015 at 3:36am

Another overarching killer phrase: "Whatever."

(As in "I don't even care enough to say 'Shut up.'")

Comment by sk8eycat on March 18, 2015 at 9:33pm

I rather like, "Oh, get OVER yourself!"  I say it to myself at least once a day....Heh!

Comment by Loren Miller on March 18, 2015 at 1:48pm

It occurs to me that the one "killer phrase" which may have spawned them all has yet to be mentioned, perhaps because it's the most blatant and the most used:


You don't get a whole lot more dismissive than that.

Comment by Loren Miller on March 17, 2015 at 6:28pm

I've heard this one more than once, including a guest shot in the movie, Twister:

"If I want your opinion, I'll give it to you!"


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