David-Antoine Williams writes:
What is the difference between a catch-all and a catch-phrase? Both are compounds formed as Verb+Noun, but in catch-all, the noun is the direct object of the verb, whereas in catch-phrase it is the subject. That is, a catch-all is something that catches all things, whereas a catch-phrase is not something that catches phrases – it is a phrase that catches something. Get it?
Recently there has been some discussion of catch-all type compounds, which Brianne Hughes has named “cutthroat compounds,” after one of the more suggestive of these. Apparently they’re rare, because they violate a general tendency for compounds in English to put the ‘head’ (e.g. phrase) on the right (‘right-headedness’). Compare F. ouvre-bouteille to E. bottle-opener (not open-bo