Definitions

put lead in one's pencil

Lead-in

[leed-in]
A lead-in is a short phrase, usually five words or less, that starts off a photo caption in a newspaper, high school yearbook, magazine or other publication.

Lead-ins (aka "kickers") are used to catch the reader's attention and "lead in" to the main caption. These phrases widely range from common phrases to song lyrics, and are written appropriate to the subject matter of the photograph.

Examples of lead-ins include the following:

(On a picture of a farmer putting down pinestraw) Piling it on...
(On a picture of a guidance counselor taking attendance folders) Makin' the rounds...

Editors and caption writers tend to avoid using clichés and obvious lead-ins (e.g., "Two heads better than one," "Whistle while you work," etc.); and also prefer varying lead-ins throughout the publication.

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