same old rigmarole, the

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.
See also: old, rigmarole, same
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, 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.’ ”
See also: old, same
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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