Posted by David FG on July 05, 2006
In Reply to: a 'so and so' posted by Smokey Stover on July 05, 2006
: : : Sometimes a person is described as a 'so and so'. What does this mean and from where was it derived. I understand a 'so and so' is not a compliment.
: : It's an insult because "so-and-so" is a deliberately vague euphemism, free of content, that replaces whatever insulting term the speaker is supposedly suppressing. The idea is "I'm too polite to use the words he deserves, so I'll call him a "so-and-so" instead." ~rb
: Bergie is absolutely right. However, you may find the "insult" is sometimes a friendly one, as at, say, a reunion of old friends. "Well, if it isn't Joe Blow! How are you, you old so-and-so?"
Smokey is also right, and it is interesting that almost any 'insult' can become affectionate if said in the right tone and to the right person: 'how are you, you old bugger' for example.