Does "so long" derive from shalom? I read that somewhere.-- Richard L. Peterson
So long derived from Irish Gaelic
I think it far more likely that the phrase "so long" comes from the Irish Gaelic word for goodbye - "Slán" [pronounced "slawn"]. To any English speaker unfamiliar with Irish it would sound very like 'so long', and as it seems to be a phrase associated almost exclusively with American English (or at least not a phrase commonly used in Britain), and considering the influx of Irish Gaelic speakers to the U.S. during the Irish famine in the 19th Century, I think it is probably an anglicized version of the Irish word for goodbye.
- googling '"so long" origin' revealed:
"So Long - farewell, Northern expression imported into britain by soldiers serving in Malayan-speaking countries. Malayan salutation, Salang, a corruption of Arabic Salaam=peace." However there are other opinions as to origin of the phrase... one has to ask someone old who served in Malaya...