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the same old rigmarole
The same process, situation, routine, etc., repeated to a tedious, irritating, or exhausting degree. Every time we come up with a new proposal, we have to deal with the same old rigmarole with upper management to get it approved. I hate having to go through the same old rigmarole of setting up a new account every time I want to buy something from an online store.
it's the same old rigmarole
What is about to be or has just been mentioned is nothing new; this is a situation that happens repeatedly and predictably. A: "The CEO was found guilty of fraud." B: "It's the same old rigmarole—these billionaire con artists thinking they can get away with anything." Whenever I bring up the idea of renovating the house to her, it's the same old rigmarole, with her telling me there's no way we can afford it right now.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
same old story, the
Also, the same old rigmarole. A frequently recurring event or situation, as in It's the same old story-they won't hire you without experience but how can you get experience if you're not hired? Both these expressions originally alluded to a tiresome, rambling discourse but today are used mainly for an irksome recurrence. The first gained currency during World War II with a song, "As Time Goes By," popularized in the film Casablanca (1942).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
same old rigmarole, the
An elaborate traditional procedure; nonsensical talk. The word rigmarole is believed to be a corruption of ragman roll, a name given in the thirteenth century to the “rolls” of homage and fealty given by the clergy and barons to the king. The rolls looked ragged because numerous seals were attached to them. The portmanteau word began to appear in print in the early 1700s and was mainly applied to a rambling, disconnected discourse. Byron (Don Juan, 1818) wrote, “His speech was a fine sample, on the whole, of rhetoric, which the learn’d call rigmarole,” and George Meredith wrote in Richard Feverel (1859), “You never heard such a rigmarole.” In the twentieth century the term was increasingly used for a tiresomely elaborate procedure, such as an exceptionally complicated graduation ceremony, with “same old” indicating that one would have to undergo it yet again. A newer synonym is the same old song and dance, meaning an overfamiliar, hackneyed routine. Maclean’s Magazine of November 19, 1979, stated: “For singing-telegram junkies bored by the same old song and dance, Cookie climbs into a furry suit to deliver Gorillagrams.” Still newer is the slangy same old, same old, a description of anything that has been repeated too often. For example, “When John asked her about her vacation, she said ‘Same old, same old; we’ve been going to the beach for twenty years.’ ”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer