What You See

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Text on Button WhAt you see is whAT you GeT
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Black background with orange text

Curl Text Copyright Best Seal Corp. NY. NY 10013. 1971
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"What you see is what you get" is an expression popularized by Flip Wilson in his performance as the drag character Geraldine in Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In in the late 1960s and on The Flip Wilson Show.

Evidence suggests that the phrase was coined in the 1940s; the earliest citation of a form of the phrase traces back to an ad for a Filmo Sportster 8mm film camera in The Charleston Gazette in November 1949:

"You just sight, press a button and what you see, you get!"

The citation of the phrase in its exact form was first seen in print from an ad for a house sale, in The Oakland Tribune, May 1966:

"So with the exception of landscaping and decorator furnishings, what you see is what you get."


The meaning and origin of the expression: What you see is what you get. (n.d.). In The Phrase Finder. Retrieved from: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/what-you-see-is-what-you-get.html.

Catalog ID IB0409