Regional Dictionary Tracks The Funny Things We Say

In 1993, President Clinton was giving a news conference when someone mentioned that a certain Air Force official had criticized him. “How could he say that about me?” Clinton responded. “He doesn’t know me from Adam’s off ox.”

Most of the journalists at that news conference had no idea what Clinton was talking about. It turns out the president was using a regional expression that meant the official didn’t know him at all — or didn’t know him from Adam.

“Adam’s off ox” is one of the phrases included in the Dictionary of American Regional English, Volume I: Introduction and A-C , part one of a multivolume effort to capture regional expressions.

Full story at NPR