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Sometimes, people use a colloquial phrase of "it figures" or "go figure", which is kind of an acknowledgement of the correctness of a fact, or something like that. It's also sometimes abbreviated even further to just "Figures" or "Go fig", depending on the speaker.

Examples of the phrase in context:

It figures, this site doesn't have a question about this phrase yet.

Go figure, the answer was right under my nose the entire time.

What is the origin of this phrase, and what exactly does it mean? What is being figured, and into what?

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It is a part of American English and therefore, the question should be tagged as such. –  Tristan Jun 25 '13 at 21:02

4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It figures means it makes sense or it is expected.

Go figure expresses amazement or disbelief.

EDIT: figure in these senses would be similar to calculate or come to a sensible conclusion.
So it figures would suggest that a situation is reasonably expected.
And go figure would suggest (rhetorically) that the audience should seek to find sense in the situation (and probably won't find it).

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It's an idiom; the equivalent of a shrug in body language.

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Saying the phrase "go figure" is the equivalent of saying the word "duh" when something is obviously correct.

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"Go figure" is always intended to be cynical. "It figures" can be serious in a sentence, but used alone it is also cynical and has the same meaning, that is, one should not be surprised at an unexpected outcome. "Go" is a command and is used in this phrase to direct the listener (or the person who expressed some surprise at the outcome?), unlike "it figures" which is more of a self deprecating phrase. "Go" in "go figure" is not unlike "go" in " go f___ yourself".

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protected by tchrist Feb 26 at 2:17

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