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Southeast Asia forum

Where does "Same Same... but different" comes from?

Posted by alemauro on 28/1/2009 at 08:53

Hi!!. I am Argentinian and I don't know where the Same Same... but different comes from... I am in Tailand... and you can see it in every t-shirt on every store!.

Maybe is a movie or a commercial... I don't know...


#1 alemauro has been a member since 4/9/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by Thaiman on 28/1/2009 at 13:57

I don't really know the answer to this but it has been around for a long time.I'd hazard a guess that the 'same,same' is pointing out that all Thais have the same traits,charachteristics etc.'But diferent'-they are very subtly different from each other.Perhaps someone else has a different idea....

#2 Thaiman has been a member since 12/11/2008. Posts: 201
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Posted by brucemoon on 28/1/2009 at 16:57

Like Thaiman, the saying seems to have been used 'forever'.

But, many years ago, the saying was 'Same...Same' meaning similar.

When and where the 'But Different' became added eludes me.


#3 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by TheGoose on 12/4/2009 at 16:42

My guess would be;

"same, same" is because Thai's often repeat things twice - "boat, boat" "cheap, cheap" and the but different was added by travellers over time as the phrase same, same is often used when comparing things that are totally different.

#4 TheGoose has been a member since 30/1/2009. Posts: 29

Posted by DLuek on 12/4/2009 at 21:54 TF writer

I don't know but I heard a pretty hilarious conversation recently between a western couple and a Vietnamese guesthouse clerk. The western guy asked the receptionist "What's the weather supposed to be like tomorrow?". Really quickly, she replied, "Same same different today." The guy thought she'd said "same same" only, and he said, "oh, same as today?" His perplexed girlfriend said, "but different?" The receptionist just nodded with a smile... Got to love it.

#5 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,177
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