I need to figure out how a native would describe this situation? Let's suppose someone is packaging current or old ideas and practices in a way which makes them appear to be modern/innovative, particularly with the intention of pretending that they are "new" or keeping them alive or making them look more attractive to audiences who are unfamiliar with them or have some objection to them.

  • E.g. Scenario 1) Please imagine a situation in which someone (the boss of a company, a salesman) is promoting something as being all new, "but it isn’t really new" and at closer examination it seems to be the same as before just "rebranded", "repacked", "got a new name "or a fresh label. So they are selling an existing product just with another appearance! A customer who can grasp the identity of the prodoct and just was presented, tells his wife softly: It is the same old wine is new bottle!

  • Scenario 2) In a country the president changes; ordinary people believe all the elections propaganda and exagerated media advertisements about the upcoming president! They believe that by changing the president the current situation would be changed into a better one! Unaware of the fact that all the politicians of one regieme are working under the same flag, observe same regualtuons and fight for the same target in that country! A wise person who is a witness of all the happenings mumbles: It is the same old wine is new bottle!

I need to know if the bold sayinga work properly and idiomatically in these cases of mine?

1 Answer 1


"Old wine in a new bottle" works fine as a metaphor in English, but in the second case, a common English expression:

Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.

As for the first case (or to some extent either case), the term used is rebranding:

Sales of the product were lackluster until the marketing department rebranded it with brighter packaging.

(Edit) If you want to imply something similar, but in the negative to mean "you can't fool me with mere superficial changes", the aphorism "lipstick on a pig", as in:

You can't put lipstick on a pig.

Side note: For general use (in the appropriate context), to mean, "more of the same kind of annoying stuff I/we have to deal with on a regular basis":

Same shit; different day.

  • 1
    British Army saying: "same shit, different sauce". Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 16:17
  • Is it used only in BrE? @Michael Harvey ?
    – A-friend
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 16:47
  • Thank you very much @Andrew , jusy yo be on the safe side, using "It is the same..." at the beginning, would sound natural or it somwhow would deteriorate the meaning? I mean "It's the same old wine in a new bottle."
    – A-friend
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 16:49
  • 1
    @A-friend Much as in any language, almost any metaphor can be used. The American military has (or at least had) the expression "snafu" which stood for "situation normal all 'fucked up", the rough equivalent of "same shit different sauce". Anyway whether you include a subject depends on the context. "It's just old wine in a new bottle" would be fine, but in other situations it would be fine to say "Old wine, new bottle."
    – Andrew
    Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 1:28

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