In Reply to: Tough bananas posted by RRC on November 05, 2009 at 18:22:
: : My dad says, "tough bananas" all the time in place of "too bad". What is the origin of "tough bananas"? I've seen it elsewhere online but its not explained here.
: I suspect this is a combination of a euphemism and what is sometimes called a snowclone (a phrasal template/pattern like "X is the new Y" (brown is the new black)) so there are tough bananas tough cookies, tough beans, tough X. It often hard to find an origin as you must discover which is the original variation of the pattern. I might guess the original is the somewhat vulgar "tough titties".
For many decades in the UK 'hard cheese', sometimes 'hard cheddar', have been used. These are clearly similar to 'tough xx', although I can't recall hearing 'tough cheese'. JB