It's a Small World (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "It's a Small World"?

The term "it's a small world" is used to show surprise that people in different places share a connection.

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It's a Small World (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • My old Geography teacher stopped me to ask for New York. It's a small world.
  • You served in the police with my mother? Wow, it's a small world! And, we both have ginger hair!
  • She emigrated to Australia, and I moved to America, but, last year, we bumped into each other in Dublin. It's a small world.
  • By coincidence, I served on the ISS with a Chinese astronaut who, as a boy, stayed with my family as an exchange student. It's a small world. Oh, wait. Does that work? We weren't on Earth.
The idiom "it's a small world" has been growing in popularity since the 19th century (evidence), which likely correlates well with the rise of public international-travel services. Given the wording, it is probable that this saying was initially used to show surprise at connections that transcended international borders. However, nowadays, it is used more widely to cover any coincidental connection.

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