Etymology
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Samarra

city in north-central Iraq; phrase an appointment in Samarra indicating the inevitability of death is from an old Arabic tale (first told in English apparently in W. Somerset Maugham's play "Sheppey," 1933): One day in the marketplace in Baghdad a man encounters Death (with a surprised look on his bony face); the man flees in terror and by dusk has reached Samarra. Death casually takes him there, and, when questioned, says, "I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra."

updated on December 06, 2021

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