The Golden State Warriors are in the midst of one of those charmed NBA seasons that happen only so often. (from a WSJ article)

I cannot find the meaning of "only so often" here. Is this a idiom or should I separate, like only, so often??


Only so often is an idiom.

It means sometimes or occasionally with a slight emphasis on it being a rare occasion.

It is similar to every so often, which also means sometimes or occasionally but with a general feeling of being more common.

If I get my hair cut every three months, I might say:

Every so often I get my hair cut.

If my husband only shaves once every two years, I might say:

It's only so often I get to see my husband without a beard.

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