If we play a little word association game, and I say cheap, what springs to mind?
How would you fill the gap: ‘cheap and ……’?
Collocations are two or more words that often ‘go together’. The term is used in corpus linguistics to indicate ‘a sequence of words or terms that co-occur more often than would be expected by chance’.
According to the Ozdic Collocation Dictionary, the most common collocation phrase for ‘cheap and’ is ‘cheap and nasty’.
Google’s predictive search has a slightly nicer suggestion, ‘cheap and easy’, as in the top recommendation, ‘cheap and easy meals’. But even ‘cheap and easy’ can be a nasty jibe depending on what – or who! – it is directed at.
So how can we turn ‘cheap and nasty’ into ‘cheap and tasty’?