"It is the same old, same old style."

In this sentence, what kind of phrase is same old same old? Is it a adjective?

  • 3
    I suppose you mean "same old, same old". "Same ,old same old" makes no sense.
    – RegDwigнt
    Feb 18 '14 at 11:20
  • 3
    can you not look this up in 5 seconds?
    – d'alar'cop
    Feb 18 '14 at 12:15

Technically, "same old, same old" is a reduplication, a repetition for the purpose of emphasis. It is an idiom, and is usually used alone, e.g. You know. Same old same old. (or, It's the same old same old.) As such, I suppose it could be two adjectives, repeated. It means same old thing.

The etiology is unclear. The usage first showed up in the 1970s in American black English, according to Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang.

In “Bamboo English,” a 1955 article in the journal American Speech, Arthur M. Z. Norman suggests that samo, samo originated in the Japanese tendency to use reduplication when speaking pidgin English.

However, in A New Voyage Round the World (1703), by explorer William Dampier:

“They (the people of Mindanao) would always be praising the English, as declaring that the English and Mindanaians were all one. This they exprest by putting their two fore-fingers close together, and saying that the English and Mindanaians were samo, samo, that is, all one.”

In a 2001 posting to the Linguist List, Douglas G. Wilson states that samo, samo may have been coined not by the Japanese but by US soldiers – as baby talk the GIs used in an attempt to communicate, repeating each word slowly, with ‘o’ on the end: same-o, same-o.

- in for a dime, in for a dollar.

  • 1
    Bamboo English! Eats shoots and leaves ? Feb 18 '14 at 14:17

"same old, same old" is an adjective, a somewhat whimsical way of describing something as old-fashioned, boring or ancient.

  • No. It is used to describe something that has stayed the same. It does not have to be old fashioned. The Boring part is correct. So how is your iPhone App writing job going? Ah, same old, same old
    – mplungjan
    Feb 18 '14 at 12:29
  • Funny, that's pretty much the same thing. If your writing job is "same old, same old", it sounds pretty boring if you ask me :) Feb 18 '14 at 14:01
  • Yes, but not necessarily old fashioned or ancient. PS: Not my downvote
    – mplungjan
    Feb 18 '14 at 14:04
  • I gave three possible meanings. I'm pretty sure I've seen or heard this phrase used in all three senses at different times. Don't have any citations to hand though. Feb 18 '14 at 14:07
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    If used as a stand-alone expression (as it usually is), it's a sentence substitute. I suppose the question it's used to answer decides POS if one deems that a useful exercise – with mplungjan's example, that would be adverbial. Though doubtless some would claim it's an adjectival, as they know exactly what the expression is a shortening of. Feb 18 '14 at 14:23

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