'Armadebton' And Other Alternatives To 'Fiscal Cliff'



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Audie Cornish and Melissa Block read suggestions from listeners on alternatives to the phrase, "fiscal cliff."

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Speaking of taxes and spending, we're going to be hearing this phrase constantly for at least the next few months.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN#1: It is called the fiscal cliff.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN#2: The fiscal cliff.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN#1: To avoid the fiscal cliff.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN#2: There is no fiscal cliff, he writes.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN#3: They built a fiscal cliff.

BLOCK: Got that, Audie? Fiscal cliff.


Got it. Well, we asked you last week to write in with alternatives to that phrase, and dozens of you put on your metaphor hats and riffed about something other than the cliff.

BLOCK: Monetary abyss, pecuniary precipice, fiduciary freefall, fiscal fiasco.

CORNISH: That's some nice alliteration. Others referred a word mash-up.

BLOCK: Taxplosion, fiscalamity, cashastrophe, armadebton. That's debt, D-E-B-T.

CORNISH: Doug Stenberg of Reading, Pennsylvania, referenced a Greek legend with the sword of fiscally.

BLOCK: And Robert Agler of Chicago just went Greek, renaming the fiscal cliff the Greek austerity program.

CORNISH: Some of you wanted to draw attention to the cliff's artificial origins. Brian McCafferty(ph) of Crawfordsville, Indiana, writes: Let's call it the fiscal con. Congress passes law, Congress can repeal it.

BLOCK: Or as Dawn Cameron(ph) of Golden, Colorado, put it: Chicken Little's cash crisis.

CORNISH: Thanks for all of your submissions. We're glad you had fun with it.

BLOCK: One listener does suggest we step back from the cliff and other histrionic metaphors. Lila Havar(ph) of Palo Alto, California, offers this simple alternative, budget deadline. She writes: The situation is dramatic enough. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.