"Same Old Same Old"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Feb 10 01:43:37 UTC 2008

Good work, Same source gives me a cite ("same-o same-o") from Aug. 20, 1947, but won't let me see it unless I pay.


Sam Clements <SClements at NEO.RR.COM> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Sam Clements
Subject: Re: "Same Old Same Old"

Using Newspaper Archive, it appears in the Pacific edition of Stars and
Stripes 26 August 1949 as same-o same-o. And, not in a cartoon by Bill Hume,
although I have no idea when he started doing his cartoons. The story, if
believed, would indicate a recently arrived American to Okinawa didn't know
what it meant, but the local did. 'Least, that's my reading of it.

Sam Clements

----- Original Message -----
From: "Benjamin Zimmer"
Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2008 11:50 AM
Subject: Re: "Same Old Same Old"

> On Feb 9, 2008 10:35 AM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
>> On Sat, Feb 09, 2008 at 10:08:23AM -0500, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
>> > Jesse, does the OED have any citations for the expression "same old
>> > same
>> > old," and, if so, what is the earliest? If anyone else has any
>> > evidence
>> > for this, I would be interested in the earliest citation.
>> Running out the door now, but I think when we last discussed this,
>> the earliest anyone had found was in an American Speech article
>> in 1950 or so. Will check later if no one else can dig it up.
>> We had had a very long discussion about the possible origin in
>> "same-oh, same-oh" in an East Asian pidgin.
> 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."
> See also: "Baby-San's Lingo" by D. Gordon and R. L. Spear, _Verbatim_ Vol.
> XXV,
> No. 3 (Summer 2000), p. 11, a lexicon of "the language of the bars and
> brothels
> of Yokohama during the decade or so after World War II" derived from the
> "Baby-san" cartoons of Bill Hume that ran in the _Stars & Stripes_
> (Pacific
> edition):
> "_samo-samo_ or, perhaps to better suggest the pronunciation, _same-o
> same-o_
> the same. After a hard day's duty, if a guy was met by his moose at the
> door
> with, 'How your day go, Honey?' a reasonable response would be,
> 'Samo-samo.'"
> --Ben Zimmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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