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What goes around comes around

Posted by ESC on October 03, 2010 at 14:51

In Reply to: What goes around comes around posted by David FG on October 03, 2010 at 06:42:

: : : "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.

: I first heard it, in England, in the 1990s, and (interestingly - to me, anyway) it was a Scot from Dundee that I first heard use it: it made enough of an impact on me for me to remember the occasion.


I would think it is older than the 1970s. But the above is what I've found so far in the references.