Cookie cutter


      • Lack of originality or creativity
        Describing something as being mass-produced or generic, lacking unique qualities or characteristics

      • Uniformity or conformity
        Describing something or someone as being identical or similar to others, often in a negative or derogatory way

      • Easily replaceable or interchangeable
        Referring to something or someone as being easily substituted for another, often in a dismissive or degrading manner

    • The promotional pamphlet was a cookie cutter sales pitch, lacking any originality or creative ideas.

      The promotion material was just like any other sales pitch used by the company; it followed a common style and lacked any originality or unique ideas.

    • The job interview process was a cookie cutter session, with a set of standard questions being asked to every candidate.

      The interview process followed a common template; it was nothing extraordinary, and the same set of questions were being asked to all the candidates.

    • The annual report was a cookie cutter document, with a formulaic format and predictable content.

      The report followed a standard structure and included routine information, lacking any distinct or imaginative composition.

    • Their marketing campaign was a cookie cutter strategy, borrowed from their competitors and lacking any real innovation.

      The marketing technique was copied from their competitors and didn't involve any unique or innovative ideas to make it stand out.How can we identify a cookie cutter sales pitch, job interview process, annual report, or marketing strategy? Explain using examples.

    • She has a cookie-cutter personality; always polite, enthusiastic, and trying too hard to fit in.

      In this example, cookie-cutter is used metaphorically to describe someone who is overly conformist and lacks individuality, much like the way in which cookie-cutters shape identical cookies. It's a critical way of characterizing someone who is overly polished and tries too hard to be accepted by others.

    • The subdivision has cookie-cutter houses, each with a mini lawn, and a garage door almost identically painted.

      This example illustrates how cookie-cutter is used to describe buildings, houses, or structures that resemble each other in terms of shape, design, and layout. It's used in this context when there's an overwhelming lack of originality in architecture or design.

    • The textbook has a cookie-cutter learning approach, with chapters filled with facts, figures, and diagrams.

      This example explains how cookie-cutter is used to describe teaching methodologies that follow strict templates, leaving no room for innovation or creativity. It's critical when teaching materials fail to cater to varied learning styles.

    • The job posting demands a cookie-cutter resume, listing academic qualifications and work experience in a particular format.

      This example shows how cookie-cutter is used to describe a process or requirement that is strict, rigid and does not allow for too many variations. In this case, a cookie-cutter resume format is a template for preparing a resume, that employers expect during job interviews.


    The idiom "cookie cutter" is commonly used to describe something as being unoriginal, lacking unique qualities or characteristics. It can also refer to something or someone being identical or similar to others, often in a negative or derogatory way. Additionally, it can imply that something or someone is easily replaceable or interchangeable.

    In all of these contexts, the intention behind using the idiom is to convey a sense of disappointment, dissatisfaction, or disdain. It is often used to criticize something or someone for being unoriginal, boring, or lacking in individuality.

    The origin of the idiom "cookie cutter" can be traced back to the 17th century, when metal molds were used to shape and cut cookies into specific shapes. These molds were often mass-produced and identical, leading to the term "cookie cutter" being used to describe something that is mass-produced or lacks uniqueness.

    Over time, the term evolved to take on a figurative meaning, referring to something or someone that lacks originality or individuality. Today, it is commonly used in everyday language to describe a wide range of things, from products and ideas to people and their behaviors.

    The popularity of the phrase can also be attributed to its catchy and memorable nature, making it a useful idiom for conveying a sense of criticism or disappointment.