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Swings and roundabouts

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on September 17, 2010 at 20:39

In Reply to: Swings and roundabouts posted by Alistair on September 17, 2010 at 10:05:

: I know that 'it's all swings and roundabouts' means - 'it's neither here nor there', but where did it actually originate from?

The whole saying is "what you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts". It's originally a saying of fairground folk, and it means that a loss in one field [selling tickets for the swings] is balanced by profit in another [selling tickets for the roundabouts]. An early citation is "What's lost upon the roundabouts we pulls up on the swings" from a novel by P Chalmers, "Green Days & Blue Days", published 1912.