"What goes around comes around"

hpst@earthlink.net hpst at EARTHLINK.NET
Tue May 23 13:14:18 UTC 2006


I have known that phrase as long as I can remember, and my memory goes back
to the late 1940s in southern Illinois.

My mother and father used to tell me after I had screwed up to remember
that what goes around comes around.

It is similar to the idea that you should always be kind to the people you
meet on your way up so that they will be kind to you when you are on your
way down.

Page Stephens

> [Original Message]
> From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Date: 5/22/2006 5:00:58 PM
> Subject: "What goes around comes around"
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      "What goes around comes around"
> I first heard this in 1963. (I remember the year because it's the year
> 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
> 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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