Modern Idioms (and where they come from)



Groundhog Day

Posted on November 7, 2020 at 8:20 AM

Meaning: A situation or experience that seems to repeat endlessly.

Origin: The film of the same name (Groundhog Day, 1993), in which Bill Murray plays a weatherman who finds himself reliving the same day over and over again. The day itself (February 2nd - by tradition the day in many parts of North America when a local groundhog predicts whether spring is ready to arrive or whether winter will continue for six more weeks) pre-dates this by some distance, but the more metaphorical use is unequivocally related to the movie, and is now generally recognised as the go-to description of any plot that utilises the idea of time repeating itself.

Fun fact: a musical version of Groundhog Day was released on Broadway in 2016. Bill Murray attended the show in August 2017 then, in a fantastically self-referential gesture, decided that the best thing to do the next night was go again (see:


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