By the Same Token – Idiom, Origin and Meaning

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

I love how the English language is just choked full of beautiful idiomatic expressions layered with meanings and intent. “By the same token” is the perfect example of that. If you’re wondering what it really means, I’ll explain the definition, talk about its origin, and even show you how to use it within a sentence.

By the Same Token Idiom Meaning

By the Same Token Idiom Origin Meaning

When someone says the standard expression “by the same token,” they’re trying to imply that something, like a fact or reasoning, equals another point or fact. We usually use it to emphasize the same principles or logic in two different circumstances, just to highlight the parallels.

  • Candace loves to read books; by the same token, she also enjoys writing them.

On the Same Token or By the Same Token

By the Same Token or On the Same Token Ngram
By the same token vs. On the same token usage trend.

The correct form of the phrase you should always use is “by the same token,” not “on the same token.” That said, both could be accepted in an informal or relaxed context. But try and use the proper version when dealing with professional and technical situations.

By the Same Token Origin

Go back as far as you can think, then go even farther. That’s how old the roots are for this expression. Well, in part, anyway. “Token” is an Old English word used to describe either a sign, symbol, or evidence. It’s with the word “evidence” that the full phrase “by the same token” derives from. It means that “with that evidence” or “using that evidence,” we can infer that this other fact is also true.

Basically, it’s always been a way to say “for the same reason” or “in the same vein.” One of the first recorded uses was by Shakespeare in the 15th century from his works “Troilus and Cressida.”

By the Same Token Synonyms

  • In the same way
  • Similarly
  • Likewise
  • Based on that
  • Equally
  • For the same reason
  • On the same grounds

Using By the Same Token in a Sentence

By the Same Token Idiom Origin Meaning 1
  • Candace is a fantastic writer; by the same token, she’s also a skilled editor.
  • I appreciate that he’s known for his generosity, but by the same token, he’s also quite frugal in his personal spending.
  • By the same token that you argue for freedom of speech, you have to also accept that others may have opinions you disagree with.
  • The new policy should benefit small businesses, but by the same token, it’s also going to create challenges for larger companies and corporations.
  • If we’re going to celebrate our successes, by the same token, we should also learn from our failures. That’s the key.

Final Words on By the Same Token

The beauty of idioms is that you can play around with them and mold them to fit many different contexts as long as the intent and meaning come through. Use “by the same token” the next time you want to say “in the same way.” And check out my other grammar guides and tips to broaden your vocabulary!