Posted by Anders on November 02, 2003
In Reply to: "...but I'd have to kill you." posted by Dooley Tiled on November 01, 2003
: I am searching for the real origin of the phrase "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you." My research, such that it is, leads me to believe it was first said by the CIA character on M*A*S*H. Anyone?
The phrase sounds very James Bond to me, and judging from the Bond quotes and paraphrases on this page (cf. link), it just may be from Dr. No. The movie antedates MASH, the TV series, by ten years. The first to be warned about, and to experience, the dangers of knowledge was Adam. One could argue that God (or the Bible) is the aboriginal source of the phrase, and that it has since just been rephrased.