Posted by ESC on October 17, 2001
In Reply to: " I don't know you from Adam's House cat" posted by John W on October 17, 2001
: I heard this from a guy in Southern Mississippi What is the Origin and is it said correctly?...also I picked up a funny saying from an old branch manager in West Texas...(when something goes bad I say).."Shit the bed" It is contagious.. My mother was a respitory therapist in a "High" level Trauma center, While she was tring to put a tube down a patient that was dying she tube got stuck in the throat.. and in that enviroment when something doesen't go as planned you get anxious and worried.. she got pissed and said.."Shit the Bed" ...apparently the doctors and nurses that were there just stopped for a second and looked at her...i guess humor helped them save the patient..
For more discussion, search the archives under "Adam."
It's a variation of "I don't know him from Adam's off ox." I first heard the ox expression in Kentucky.
ADAM'S OFF OX - "The form commonly used is 'not to know one from Adam's off ox,' meaning to have not the slightest information about the person indicated. The saying in any form, however, is another of the numerous ones commonly heard but of which no printed record has been found. But in 1848 the author of a book on 'Nantucketisms' recorded a saying then in use on that island, 'Poor as God's off ox,' which, he said, meant very poor. It is possible that on the mainland 'Adam' was used as a euphemistic substitute. The off ox, in a yoke of oxen, is the one on the right of the team. Because it is the farthest from the driver it cannot be so well seen and may therefore get the worst of the footing. It is for that reason that 'off ox' has been used figuratively to designate a clumsy or awkward person." From "A Hog on Ice" by Charles Earle Funk (1948, Harper & Row).