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Idiom "one and the same"

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Super Member
Joined: 15.08.2017
Pending moderation

Hi!

I was writing a comment on the "one and the same" idiom but the page was deleted before I could publish it. So here are my thoughts:

I do think it's an idiom since it's not a combination of words you'd randomly choose, but it's rather an established expression. Linguistically speaking, "one and the same" is a tautology, i. e. it "says the same thing twice". There are certain established tautologies (such as "forever and for all" and "one and only"). Someone who is not familiar with the respective expression might need an explanation that it's an intended redundancy not for the sake of creating a distinctive "ad-hoc" stylistic effect but simply because it's commonly said. So overall, I think "one and the same" does qualify as an idiom.

Moderator
Joined: 06.11.2013

An idiom is "a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., rain cats and dogs, see the light )." Common phrases are just common phrase, not idioms.

Super Member
Joined: 19.07.2018

I would appreciate if you wait before unpublishing in the future.
It takes an effort to define items and you did not bother to understand why it was there nor to see the reference in idiomatic dictionary. As a native English speaker, I can see how you fail to see the need to define the idiom, but as a foreigner, I can assure you the definition would be welcomed.

Super Member
Joined: 15.08.2017

Yeah, but that was my point, it's more than just a common phrase, it's an established tautology. It's not deducible from the individual words that, as a group, they put emphasis on the fact that two things are (actually) identical. It only works in this well-known combination of words. You wouldn't say "x and y are the same and one" or "x and y are one and identical" etc.

Moderator
Joined: 06.11.2013

To an English speaker that says "I am twenty years old". An explanation of "tengo veinte años" (I have twenty years) in Spanish would also be useful, but this doesn't make it an idiom.

Super Member
Joined: 19.07.2018

There is little point in arguing since this expression is defined as idiomatic. The point is that you should not have rushed to remove it.

Moderator
Joined: 06.11.2013

Maybe we need a "Common Phrases" section, and a "Proverbs" section, since many of the entries in the "Idioms" section aren't actually idioms.

Super Member
Joined: 16.12.2017

I am not a native English speaker, but to me it doesn’t sound idiomatic. It means just what it is - ‘one and the same’, I cannot think about any other meaning of the phrase Regular smile

Moderator of Romance Languages
Joined: 31.03.2012
ϕιλομαθής wrote:

Maybe we need a "Common Phrases" section, and a "Proverbs" section, since many of the entries in the "Idioms" section aren't actually idioms.

Sorry to butt in but I think that's a good idea. I see a lot of those in the Spanish section, it might be helpful to beginners but not interfere with the idioms section.

Moderator
Joined: 06.11.2013

Thank you for "butting in". I do not like to argue about words, but we need to define terms. One of the "idioms I've removed is "baby food". How is food intended for an infant an idiom?

Moderator of Romance Languages
Joined: 31.03.2012
ϕιλομαθής wrote:

Thank you for "butting in". I do not like to argue about words, but we need to define terms. One of the "idioms I've removed is "baby food". How is food intended for an infant an idiom?

No problem, and these words take up space that can be used for real idioms. You might want to leave it in the Mod's forum in Suggestions and add the link to this thread. If something gets added, at least I will clean up the Spanish section.

Super Member
Joined: 16.12.2017
phantasmagoria wrote:
ϕιλομαθής wrote:

Thank you for "butting in". I do not like to argue about words, but we need to define terms. One of the "idioms I've removed is "baby food". How is food intended for an infant an idiom?

No problem, and these words take up space that can be used for real idioms. You might want to leave it in the Mod's forum in Suggestions and add the link to this thread. If something gets added, at least I will clean up the Spanish section.

And may you please ask them to improve the idiom module. Right now, there is no option for the author to delete/edit an explanation. Also, sporadically, I’ve been getting “Chinese” errors trying to add an idiom and/or adding comments

Moderator Polyglot Scot
Joined: 26.07.2013

I agree that other sections are probably needed. Common phrases like "one and the same" are quite important in language use but are not strictly idioms as others have mentioned.

Super Member
Joined: 01.07.2018

Interesting expression, I didn't know it in English. In Russian, I guess it"s "одно и то же", which looks very much alike. I can't find a strict equivalence in French. We would say "c'est la même chose", "c'est du pareil au même", or "c'est bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet", or even (colloquially) "c'est kif-kif bourricot" (parody of Arabic, "kif-kif" meaning "all the same" in Arabic, and "bourricot" meaning "donkey", especially the ones used in Northern Africa).

As to "baby food", it doesn't sound very much like an idiom, but one should remember that King Crimson uses the expression "cat food", and in one of George Brassens' songs, he says "c'est de la bouillie pour les chats et pour les chiens" (it's cat and dog mash), meaning something like "it's not worth anything"...

Super Member
Joined: 16.12.2017
Jadis wrote:

Interesting expression, I didn't know it in English. In Russian, I guess it"s "одно и то же»

In Russian, it would be «одинаковы/похожи» just like “two peas in a pod”

Super Member
Joined: 01.07.2018
Igeethecat wrote:
Jadis wrote:

Interesting expression, I didn't know it in English. In Russian, I guess it"s "одно и то же»

In Russian, it would be «одинаковы/похожи» just like “two peas in a pod”

Ha, so I didn't get the original meaning. So it would be something like "[se ressembler] comme deux gouttes d'eau" ? ([similar] like two drops of water) ?

Super Member
Joined: 16.12.2017
Jadis wrote:
Igeethecat wrote:
Jadis wrote:

Interesting expression, I didn't know it in English. In Russian, I guess it"s "одно и то же»

In Russian, it would be «одинаковы/похожи» just like “two peas in a pod”

Ha, so I didn't get the original meaning. So it would be something like "[se ressembler] comme deux gouttes d'eau" ? ([similar] like two drops of water) ?

I guess, it’s time to add it to idioms unless it’s already there Regular smile

Super Member
Joined: 15.08.2017

I think the closest equivalent in French would be "un seul et même" but frankly, I don't hear it very often.

Super Member
Joined: 01.07.2018

It's a philosophical question. Are we talking about : identity ? equality ? similarity ?
"Un seul et même" in French should be followed by a noun, for instance : "Il est devenu impératif de rassembler tous les employés sous un seul et même toit. " (from this site ).

Super Member
Joined: 15.08.2017

Ah, yes, that's what makes it different from the English idiom (yeah, I still do think it is - albeit a weak - one based on the definition I'm aware of). In English it can either stand alone or be followed by a noun: "X and Y are one and the same"; "X and Y are one and the same Z". In German, both versions work as well: "X und Y sind ein und dasselbe"; "X und Y sind ein und dasselbe Z". In Norwegian there is "en og samme".

Super Member
Joined: 01.07.2018

We can say : Romain Gary and Emile Ajar sont une seule et même personne (a writer who managed to get twice the Prix Goncourt, which normally is forbidden, as he wrote under two pseudonyms - his real name was Roman Kacew).

lt
Administrator
Joined: 27.05.2008
Igeethecat wrote:

Right now, there is no option for the author to delete/edit an explanation.

Links to edit / delete become visible on mouse hover over the explanation, in the top right corner of it.

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