"What goes around comes around"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 22 21:00:22 UTC 2006

I first heard this in 1963. (I remember the year because it's the year when
I bought my first car.) It was an annoying catch-phrase used by only one
person, a (w)ho(re) that I once knew, back in the day, in Los Angeles.
Nowadays, I hear the expression everywhere and I have even heard it defined
as a thumbnail description of karma. The ho had come to L.A. from Buffalo,
NY. So, maybe she first heard it there, there being no reason for me to
think that she had either coined the term herself or picked it up in L.A.

Be that as it may, I've always been fascinated by the way that some street
expressions spread across the country and even around the world,
whereas others
never leave the 'hood, campus, branch of the military, etc. where they
originated. Perhaps it's as one of my Jesuit teachers used to say:
"It's the will of God, gentlemen. It's the will of God." (Hm. That
sounds like something that Cartman might have said. ;-))

-Wilson Gray

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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