We’re all familiar with the term ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt’. But where did it come from?
In the 1970’s the phrase ‘been there’ started to appear, for example in the 1975 novel ‘Carlito’s Way’ by Edwin Torres –
‘Money is only an object. I’ll get it. Got it, been there.’
In a February 1982 edition of the New York newspaper The Syracuse Herald-American Jerry Buck wrote this about the actress Lauren Tewes –
‘Miss Tewes, who has just got divorced, says she doesn’t plan to get married at this time. Using an Australian expression, she says, ”been there, done that.” ‘
By the early ’90s ‘got the t-shirt’ had been added (probably as a reference to tourists buying t-shirts to prove that they’ve been to places and landmarks) as in this example from Ski Survival in February 1991 –
‘Knee Injuries. Rosemary Burns has been there, done that and got the T-shirt. She gives fellow sufferers her sympathy and sound advice.’
These days the phrase is so well known that it’s often abbreviated to ‘BTDTGTTS’. And there are no limits as to what can happen to the t-shirt, as this comment from a 2007 Pink Floyd fan forum shows –
‘Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, worn a hole in it and now use it as a duster.’
I wonder if it was a Pink Floyd t-shirt?
Like most people we haven’t swam the English Channel, climbed Mount Everest or been to The South Pole. If you’re in the same position as us then you’ll be pleased to hear that our Never Been There, Never Done That, Got The T-Shirt range will allow you to look cool in a retro-designed t-shirt as opposed to getting cold or wet in the middle of nowhere.