Which is correct?

One in the same...


One and the same...

A quick google-vote says the former is "correct".

  • 10
    A good reason not to rely on google-votes....
    – Hellion
    Commented Dec 13, 2010 at 23:49
  • 3
    Who said the majority can't be wrong? ;)
    – user730
    Commented Dec 13, 2010 at 23:57
  • 1
    Rule by the Mob... no matter how wrong they are! :)
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 14, 2010 at 0:10
  • Wow... upvote to view ratio is less than 1:10,000.
    – JDB
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 18:34

4 Answers 4


The correct usage is "One and the same". A good dictionary or phrase compilation will confirm this. "One and the same" is used for emphasis, especially when there are seemingly different identities, characters, etc, in question. For example:

Johnny Jackson and the blind beggar in that corner are one and the same.

  • 3
    @Chris: You should parse it as "emphasis by repetition"; the entities under consideration are (of) one (sort), and the entities under consideration are the same.
    – user730
    Commented Dec 13, 2010 at 23:36

One and the same.

Citation: Reference.com

  • Link no longer valid...
    – Digger
    Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 17:42

It is one AND the same. This structure is a compound where "one" and "the same" are conjoined by AND.

For instance if I say "John and Mr. Smith are one and the same." I am actually, in a more condensed form, writing "John and Mr. Smith are one and John and Mr. Smith are the same."

This more bloated way of stating the relationship was appropriately shortened to ... are one AND the same.

  • Are you saying that the wording "X and Y one and the same" originated from expressions of the form "X and Y are one, and X and Y are the same"? If so, please provide a citation to a reference work that corroborates this theory (if possible). It's an intuitively appealing idea.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 20:54

I think both are correct. One and the same may be an older saying but one in the same makes perfect sense. Since it is commonly used I believe it to be correct.

Every phrase was created at some point so as long as it makes sense, it really can't be wrong.

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