a little from column A, a little from column B

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Typical (stereotypical) "American Chinese" restaurant menus of the mid-twentieth century presented food selections for combination entrees in a table with columns labeled "A" and "B". The customer was then advised, for example, to "Choose one from Column A and one from Column B."

Noun[edit]

a little from column A, a little from column B (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic, informal) A combination of two factors or reasons.
    • 1999, George Stephanopoulos, All Too Human: A Political Education
      Clinton would take a little from column A, a little from column B, depending on the day, his mood, and whom he had talked to last.
    • 2005, Lou Harry, Eric Pfeffinger, The High-Impact Infidelity Diet
      Which is how I thought I knew it was going to be either really boring, or about my family, or a little from column A, a little from column B.

Synonyms[edit]