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a 'so and so'

Posted by R. Berg on July 05, 2006

In Reply to: A 'so and so' posted by Raymond on July 04, 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