15 Reduplicative Doublets
Reduplicative doublets are a small class of idioms in which a word is repeated after the conjunction and; such repetition is intended to provide an emphatic boost to a statement. Here are fifteen such constructions with definitions and sample sentences.
1. Again and again: repeatedly (“I practiced the maneuver again and again so that I didn’t have to think about what I was doing”)
2. By and by (or by-and-by): later, or eventually (“I think he’ll come around to our way of thinking by and by”)
3. Done and done: done thoroughly and satisfactorily (“The team avenged its loss with a decisive victory — done and done”)
4. Ever and ever: always, or seemingly so (“I had to wait for ever and ever for my car to get fixed”)
5. Half and half: in equal parts; also, a food or drink made of two often equal ingredients, or a mixture of cream and milk, or a person of dual nationality or mixed ethnicity (“She likes half and half in her coffee”)
6. Hot-and-hot: multiple courses of food served individually as soon as cooked (“The catered meal was served hot-and-hot”)
7. Less and less: increasingly less, progressively decreasing, or decreasingly true or prevalent (“I’m less and less confident of success as the days pass”)
8. More and more: increasingly more, progressively increasing, or increasingly true or prevalent (“It’s getting more and more difficult to find in stores”)
9. Neck and neck: very close in a contest or race, suggesting two horses whose necks are side by side (“The candidates are polling neck and neck lately”)
10. On and on: continuously (“The speaker droned on and on beyond her allotted time”)
11. Out-and-out: complete or utter (“That’s an out-and-out lie!”)
12. Over and over: repeatedly (“He said it over and over, to make sure I understood”)
13. So-and-so (or so and so): a placeholder name for a person (often initial-capped), a placeholder word for one or more things, or a euphemism for an offensive epithet (“I talked to So-and-so — that guy over there”)
14. Such-and-such: a placeholder for a thing or action (“If you were to go to such-and-such a place, you’d find the building”)
15. Through and through: see out-and-out (“He’s a loser through and through”)
Browse all articles on the Expressions category or check the recommended content for you below:
Improve your English in 5 minutes a day! Subscribe to our Writing Tips and Exercises via Email
- You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed!
- Subscribers get access to our archives with 800+ interactive exercises!
- You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free!