Posted by Michael on October 01, 2004
Re the origin of the phrase 'So Long'. In 'The Northumberland & Durham Word Book' by Cecil Geeson, published in 1969,(a glossary of words and phrases used in these two English counties, mostly dialect words) appears an entry;
"So Long - farewell, Northern expression imported into britain by soldiers serving in Malayan-speaking countries. Malayan salutation, Salang, a corruption of Arabic Salaam=peace."
It is of course an expression used in all English - speaking countries, not just the north of England, but maybe it first appeared there, I don't know.