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Same old same old

Posted by David FG on July 05, 2009 at 17:35

In Reply to: Same old same old posted by R. Berg on July 05, 2009 at 16:11:

: : : Some one wanted to investigate the origin of the phrase "same old same old". Everyone seems to have gotten it wrong. It originated during the Korean War. American soldiers in foreign lands often try to make indigenous personnel use English phrases. When an American GI wanted a Korean subordinate to do something which was similar to something the Korean has already learned how to do, the American would use the expression "same-o, same-o. GI's returning to the States took the phrase with them but mainstream Americans missed the meaning entirely.

: :
: : Well, apart from anything else, why would an American use that expression? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to say, simply, 'same'?

: : Why make a perfectly simple, clear word more difficult for another language speaker?

: : DFG

: DFG, such a usage might originate as part of a pidgin, but I question the explanation on other grounds: "same old same old" would have to be shown to go back as far as the 1950s. I haven't seen it that long, probably no earlier than the 1990s and maybe not before the current decade. ~rb

Hmm. OK, I take your point.

But I too had not heard the expression until a few years ago. It seems to have been one of those that appeared from nowhere, as it were, and is now everywhere.

DFG