rigmarole

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it's the same old rigmarole

What is about to be or has just been mentioned is nothing new; it is a situation that happens repeatedly. 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.
See also: old, rigmarole, same

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).
See also: old, same

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.’ ”
See also: old, same
References in classic literature ?
"I'm anxious to see what the Rigmaroles are like, and this path ought to take us there the quickest way."
Nastasia Philipovna's reply to this long rigmarole astonished both the friends considerably.
Your Latin and rigmarole may soon dry off you, but you'll be but a bare stick after that.
What shall I say?" cried Sallie, as Fred ended his rigmarole, in which he had jumbled together pell-mell nautical phrases and facts out of one of his favorite books.
But what could he have to do with this old family custom of ours, and what does this rigmarole mean?'
If it pleases you to believe this rigmarole about ether and Fraunhofer's lines upon the spectrum, do so by all means, but do not ask one who is older and wiser than yourself to share in your folly.
"How can I take that Planchette rigmarole seriously?" he asked.
But what did the man mean by his extraordinary rigmarole about the newspaper, and that crazy old woman?