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phrase

Meaning: "Yes, something kind of similar to that, but not the exact same thing."

Note: this meaning can vary by degrees depending on the speaker.

This is a phrase I originally encountered in Thailand, although it seems prevalent in Cambodia, and Malaysia as well — especially among taxi, tuk tuk, bus, and motorbike-taxi drivers and those that deal directly with foreigners such as myself.

Here's an example of the phrase as used in a real-life situation:

"Hmm, the 12:30 bus to Chiang Khong is full. Tell me, is there another bus leaving today?"
"Yes."
"And it goes to Chiang Khong?"
"Yes, same same, but different."

[in this case, "same same, but different" means that the bus has the same route but a different departure time]

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