phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: What goes around comes around

Posted by ESC on October 03, 2010 at 02:47

In Reply to: What goes around comes around posted by Leslie on October 02, 2010 at 13:41:

: "What goes around comes around" - my granny used to say this to me when I was a little girl if I was naughty I took it to mean, that my actions today would come back to haunt me tomorrow. I grew up in Rural England and am in my fifties so this phrase I know comes from England and has been passed from generation to generation. Anyone know another context or origin? - I'm curious.

One reference said it originated in the United States in the 1970s and was first in print in 1974 in a book, "Donald Writes No More" by Eddie Stone. “Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings” by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). Page 359. A second reference quotes linguist Margaret G. Lee, American Speech, winter 1999. She said the origin of the phrase is an African proverb and "came into general use via African-American speech." “The Facts on File Dictionary of Cliches,” second edition, edited by Christine Ammer, Checkmark Books, New York, 2006. Page 493.