Bang on about




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Bang on about : Phrases



Meaning:

Talk repetitively and boringly about something.


Origin:

The term 'bang on' has been used to mean either 'exactly on', i.e. physically close to, or 'exactly right'. Those two meaning are exemplified here, respectively:

An advertisement in Punch April 1936: "Quiet garden square near Hyde Park. Real hot water. Bang on Tubes."

('Bang on Tubes' means 'very close to an Underground station'. 'Real hot water' - who knows? better than imaginary hot water I suppose.)

John Hunt and Alan Pringle Service Slang, 1943: "Bang on, bomber slang for 'O.K.' or 'Everything's all right'."

These derive from an earlier American usage of simply 'bang', just meaning 'exactly'.

'Bang on about' has a different meaning though and doesn't appear to be related to either of the above. It is a British coinage.

The Economist, October 1979 "Mr. Patrick Jenkin - Social Services - In cabinet tries hard but is inclined to bang on a bit."

Julie Burchill, Sex & Sensibility, 1990: "This cry was taken up by the alt coms [alternative comedians] - Benny and Jenny and Lenny and Dawn - who would bang on about Reagan being an actor."



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