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Origin of the word "so long"

 
 
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 09:47 am
I want to know the origin of the word "so long" in the English Language. Thank you.
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shatha01
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 09:49 am
I want to know the origin of the word "so long" (as used to mean goodbye) in the English Language
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Piffka
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 10:03 am
Used as a good-bye? I think it's from Shalom. Do you know how to look up stuff on Google?

Try Shalom so long...

That'll get you one man's opinion, from the Woody Guthrie song. So long...

Woody Guthrie dustbowl song, So Long, It's Been Good to Know You. The refrain goes,

So long, it's been good to know you,
So long, it's been good to know you,
So long, it's been good to know you,
But this dusty old dust is getting me down,
And I've got to be moving along.

Quote:
The valediction "so long," most likely derives from "shalom."
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mac11
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 10:22 am
There are some theories here:

http://www.m-w.com/wftw/00apr/040600.htm
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Piffka
 
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2003 10:49 am
I'm surprised that MW didn't specifically mention so long used as a legal time frame. It's used a lot as a phrase in documents... "the taxes will be paid so long as the building is occupied" for example.

From there, it seems to me a hop & skip to "so long (as we're apart) and a wave <goodbye>."
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IrishAl
 
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Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 10:55 am
Origins of the phrase 'so long'
I think it quite likely that this is corrupted Irish. The phrase 'Slan go fuill' can sound very much like 'so long (fool)'.

Slan go = so long

It's only an idea, but it's a plausible one. The English expression for saying something is very good - 'that's SMASHING' - is straight from Gaelic, and such absorptions from Irish immigrants is not unlikely.

Is mise,

Alan.
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