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Re: My foot

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on August 18, 2005

In Reply to: Re: My foot posted by Smokey Stover on August 16, 2005

: : My foot: Origin of exclamatory phrase that expresses total disbelief? In addition to hearing it routinely all of my life (born in 1948), a friend from India says he grew up with it, as well.

: The OED cites it first from the 1920s, made popular presumably by the likes of Noel Coward and Dorothy Sayers. Also mentions "your foot!" and assigns the meaning "contemptuous contradiction." Nowadays, people often say "my ass!" with the same meaning. Why foot I cannot say, but perhaps someone knows. SS

It would sound a bit antiquated now, but people used to say "My eye!" (sometimes extended to "all my eye and Betty Martin", nobody knows why). The French say "Mon oeuil" which means the same.