"Same Old Same Old"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 9 19:59:50 UTC 2008

FWIW, I've always heard this, to the extent that I've heard it at all,
as "same-o, same-o." I know "same ol(d) same ol(d)" only from
literature. My impression, from the first time that I heard it, was
that it was white slang, which is probably why I can't recall when I
first heard it. :-)  Though 1955 seems about right.

One of my problems with Major is that, if it were left up to him, he'd
give the colored people credit for every instance of slang in American
English, irregardless of how square it was. Now, I realize that,
without us, Clarence, they'd still be speaking Proto-Germanic. But,
Negro, please! Same-o, same-o? Lame-o, lame-o!


On Feb 9, 2008 12:29 PM, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "Same Old Same Old"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Feb 9, 2008 11:50 AM, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> >
> > See: "Bamboo English: The Japanese Influence upon American Speech in Japan" by
> > Arthur M. Z. Norman, _American Speech_ Vol. 30, No. 1 (Feb. 1955), p. 46:
> > "The _changey-changey_, _samey-samey_ phenomenon heard among the Japanese is
> > responsible for _samo-samo_ 'the same' in American slang."
> As for "same ol' same ol'", I had previously seen a couple of cites from 1970
> (from Imamu Amiri Baraka' play "Jello" and from Clarence Major's _Dictionary of
> Afro-American Slang_). Here it is a few years earlier, via Google Books:
> ---
> 1967 Bryant Rollins _Danger Song_ 37 It was as Apple had said it, the same ol'
> same ol' every day, all week long, sitting in a classroom with forty others,
> most of them white.
> http://books.google.com/books?id=1eYNAAAAIAAJ
> ---
> And I also see there's a track entitled "Same Old, Same Old" on the album "A
> Jazz Portrait of Roger Kellaway featuring Jim Hall" (Regina LP(S)298, recorded
> 1963, released 1964).
> --Ben Zimmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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