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On this page about Imabari dialect, it says the following:

笑い話によく登場する話としては「行ってこうわい」。今治では「行ってきます」という意味ですが、他の地域では「行って帰ってくる」という意味に取られます。「行ってこうわい」というからずっと待ってたのに来なかった、というのがオチです。

I am not too concerned about the dialect itself, but rather the fact that the above seems to imply 「行ってきます」and 「行って帰ってくる」have different meanings. (I don't think difference in polite form is relevant so I will ignore that)

I was fairly certain that 「行ってきます」 on its own means that someone would go and come back, however if so then it would mean the same thing as 「行って帰ってくる」. By the way, I have never seen this latter expression before, not sure if it is used often in everyday Japanese.

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  • Um, can I make sure you understand that 行ってきます is a common greeting word? en.wiktionary.org/wiki/… Jan 7, 2018 at 5:41
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    他の地域では「行って帰ってくる」という意味に取られます。 <-- う~ん・・? 京都にいますが、「行ってこうわい」って聞いたことないですけど、もし聞いたら「行ってくるわ。」=「行ってきます。」って意味だろうな~と思うと思いますが・・・
    – chocolate
    Jan 7, 2018 at 8:08
  • @broccoliforest Yes, I understand that word and I use it everyday myself. But I don't know how that relates to 行って帰ってくる
    – Locksleyu
    Jan 7, 2018 at 16:12
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    I'm not entirely certain, but I get the impression that, for example, if someone were to say 行ってきます with the meaning that the set phrase gives it, even though it literally means "I'll go and come back", the person could be gone for an indiscriminate amount of time. However, if someone were to say 行って帰ってくる, you'd expect the person to very literally go and return almost immediately. I think the article is trying to say that 行ってこうわい in its dialect form is saying that in 今治 specifically the meaning is closer to the set phrase intended usage and in surrounding areas it has the literal meaning.
    – psosuna
    Jan 9, 2018 at 0:44

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Even though they mean the same thing, 行ってきます has a much greater usage when referring to going and coming back. When I have been in Japan, I have never heard an individual use 行って帰ってくる when leaving, but instead 行ってきます.

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