Cliche Watch

Among the hundreds of times the expression "Chickens have come home to roost" appeared in American newspapers this year, the following subject categories, gleaned through a Nexis-Lexis search, caught our attention.

Government: 236 times
Republican Party: 51
Bailouts: 34
Islam: 6
Immigration: 5
OJ Simpson: 1

(Photo from Andre Niemimaki)

Three papers fought to place "roosting chickens" in print the most: Detroit News (7), New York Times (6), Los Angeles

Times (5).

Excerpts from the L.A. Times:

  • "Some through wealth and influence may forestall the inevitable

    consequences of their deeds. But eventually, everyone's chickens come

    home to roost." (A reader letter commenting on O.J. Simpson's


  • "Make the chickens of the economic disaster come home to roost on

    Wall Street, where they belong." (A reader writing about corporate


  • "Thanks a lot, Reverend Writght. Obama's campaign must be wishing

    some chickens would come home to roost right on top of the esteemed

    reverend's head . . ." (Op-ed writer Rosa Brooks column about the Rev.

    Jeremiah Wright, who's known for employing the roosting chicken expression.

  • "I think we are only beginning to see the impact, and I think it

    could be significant. I think the chickens are going to come home to

    roost. How many chickens is the question." (Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky

    quoted in piece on the collapsing housing market.)

  • "The deregulated chickens, cows and pigs have come home to roost."  (From a piece about  government failure to regulate the meat industry.)

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