Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

[tweed-l-duhm uhn tweed-l-dee]
two persons or things nominally different but practically the same; a nearly identical pair.

1715–25; humorous coinage, apparently first applied as nicknames to Giovanni Bononcini and Handel, with reference to their musical rivalry; see tweedle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Tweedledum and Tweedledee (ˌtwiːdəlˈdʌm, ˌtwiːdəlˈdiː)
any two persons or things that differ only slightly from each other; two of a kind
[C19: from the proverbial names of Handel and the musician Buononcini, who were supported by rival factions though it was thought by some that there was nothing to choose between them. The names were popularized by Lewis Carroll's use of them in Through the Looking Glass (1872)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Tweedledum and Tweedledee definition

Fictional characters from Through the Looking-Glass, by Lewis Carroll. They are pictured as fat twins who are identical in speech, attitude, and appearance.

Note: Figuratively, any two people or positions that have no real differences are said to be “like Tweedledum and Tweedledee.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

tweedledum and tweedledee

Two matters, persons, or groups that are very much alike, as in Bob says he's not voting in this election because the candidates are tweedledum and tweedledee. This term was invented by John Byrom, who in 1725 made fun of two quarreling composers, Handel and Bononcini, and said there was little difference between their music, since one went "tweedledum" and the other "tweedledee." The term gained further currency when Lewis Carroll used it for two fat little men in Through the Looking-Glass (1872). For a synonym, see six of one, half dozen of the other.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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