repeat oneself

Express oneself in the same way or with the same words, as in Grandma forgets she has told us this story before and repeats herself over and over, or This architect tends to repeat himself—all his houses look alike. A well-known version of this idiom is the proverb History repeats itself, first recorded (in English) in 1561. For example, Her mother also married when she was 18—history repeats itself. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.