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Pronunciation: say-mee Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: (British slang) Boringly monotonous, without variation or variety.

Notes: The adjective same implies monotony though it does not exactly mean "monotonous". Things that are the same are close to identical, but samey things are boringly similar, as Americans put it, 'the same old same old'. Same may not be compared, but today's Good Word may be: samier, samiest, and the noun is sameyness.

In Play: Although most people look down on sameyness, others are attracted by it: "Many people like samey food at fast food restaurants because it is always predictable." In fact, it can lead to rather surprising results: "Prudence Pender led a samey life in a small town until she retired and, with all the money she had saved, took up permanent residence in a luxury suite on a cruise ship."

Word History: Occasionally we add a redundant suffix to words, as we made crispy from crisp even though they both mean the same thing. Today's word was created the same way, by adding the same suffix to same. In this case, however, the meaning changed. Same itself comes from a long line of words meaning "same", "self", "together", such as Sanskrit sam "together", Russian sam "self", and Greek homos "same", as in homogenize "make the same". The PIE original was sem-/som- "one, in one together, uniform", source also of Greek hama "together with", Icelandic sam "same", Swedish samman "together", and Norwegian samme "same"., Oh, yes, that is also it in Latin simul "together, at the same time", which underlies English borrowings like simultaneous and simulate.

Dr. Goodword,

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