New Phrase Needed: Swallows to Capistrano

Okay, I’m officially banning the metaphor "like the swallows to Capistrano". For starters, it’s hackneyed, an expression that lost whatever freshness it had about a month after its first usage. Second, the birds that are generally shown in the media having supposedly returned to San Juan Capistrano each year aren’t typically swallows anyway, more commonly doves or starlings. And no-one’s even quite sure (other than San Juan Capistrano tourism boosters) about when the damn things are supposed to come anyway, with dates proffered from February right through April.

So, a new phrase is needed. Anyone have a better and more colorful metaphor as a replacement? Or should we just do what I do, and use the word "predictable" instead?


  1. “Like swallow-related tourists to Capistrano”

  2. Rafael Montoya says:

    Predictable sounds good.
    Also, you live in California, but most people on the planet do not know about San Juan Capistrano and its birds.
    Being in the tech sector probably you can use: “like vaporware missing release dates from Microsoft”. I think even in France they will understand it.

  3. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock these past few months but this is honestly the first time I’ve heard about the swallows of Capistrano. I’m thinking it’s better than the old bunny and hat trick and should be stored safely somewhere until the time comes when nobody remembers where Capistrano even is.

  4. I say we assign Gartner probabilities for everything in life so Feb could be prob of 0.2, Mar 0.3, April 0.4…oh by the way what are swallows and I presume you are talking about San Juan in Puerto Rico? -)

  5. ummm predictable…like seeing white swans 😉

  6. Carl Mercurio says:

    Like Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson to Cabo.

  7. As a Navy Grad, I am proposing “like the rising of the tide” or as regularly as the “ocean’s swell”. Or more romantically, “like my lover’s heartbeat.”

  8. I don’t remember the last time I heard this saying. I suspect it was when I lived in LA in the mid-80s.

  9. Like Republicans to deficit spending.

  10. African or European swallows?

  11. Carl Mercurio says:

    Posted by jt: “African or European swallows?”
    Now that’s funny.