Most metaphors, we’d like to assume, were new once. (Likely not all of them: cognitive metaphor is tied up with cognition.)
Some new metaphors, or figurative speech, or just plain collocations, become popular. Others do not.
Some of those popular collocations become so popular, they become entirely conventional and characteristic of a genre. And in most cultures, that’s actually a good thing. These are familiar, comforting signals. They are shortcuts to thinking, for the speaker and the reader both. They are not surprising or vivid or thought provoking, which they may well have been once; but that’s ok.
However there are genres, and more importantly cultures, in which ongoing vividness and punchiness are valued more than familiarity and conventionality. Those are the genres and cultures that decry cliches. And when a particular expression becomes conventional and familiar, they value seeking out other expressions, that are not yet conventional and familiar.
Remember: most cliches started out as novel.
Why are some words clichéd? Because in those genres, they have become the victims of their own success.
Closest I can think of is Hermes, who was a trickster and patron of Thieves. Ground zero for Hermes the trickster (Dolios) seems to have been the myth of how he stole Apollo’s oxen: The Little Rascal: Hermes
Lexical aspect: the distinction between achievement, accomplishment, activity and state it took from Vendler. It’s not inherently inscrutable, but rattling off Vendler’s nomenclature is not the way to make people understand it.
The shades of difference between abstractors: nu, du’u, sedu’u, ka, su’u. The distinctions are real, but they are more confusing, and natural languages occult those distinctions behind the matrix predicate class or less granular complement markers.
And the articles. They were confusing before; they got revised; they’re still confusing. They may not be wrong, but they are quite alien.
A2A by Pegah Esmaili, who is Iranian. And not Persian. So I’m not going to say “Persian”.
Iranian #1: I am an avid follower of Pegah Esmaili, and her combat boots. And of course I am going to say nice things about Iranians, and Azeri Iranians in particular, because when Pegah starts wiping out all men, I want her to get to Lyonel Perabo before she gets to me.
Iranians? They’re the neighbour’s friend. Or the neighbour’s mentor. Or the neighbour’s coach. Or something.
Which means there’s some things about them that are familiar, and they come as a pleasant surprise. Azeris have an unfair advantage over other Iranians, because they actually speak the neighbour’s language. Persians have an unfair advantage, because they’re Indo-Europeans, and I actually learned two or three words.
Eh, خُدا حافِظ? Did I copy paste that right?
Their vast pride in their history is something I understand, at least intellectually, as a Greek. And they have a majestic culture; they were worthy adversaries to have had 25 centuries ago,
and it’s pretty cool that Greeks (via Ottoman Turkish) use farsi to mean “speak a language fluently”. The Shahnameh is the only epic poem I’ve been able to read all the way through. Their drawings have a filigree delicacy, even if they look strangely Chinese.
There are some things that are alien about them too, sure. The theocracy is scary to me. The mandatory hijab ditto, although the clear halfheartedness with which it is worn in Tehran is a source of ongoing mirth.