fun with phrases

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 27 15:17:59 UTC 2011

A clear 1977, then really nothing till the mid-eighties. Then plenty.

"It isn't who I am" shows up in '73, though not quite in the current sense.
(It seems to mean, "That's not the sort of person I am," which is pretty
close to current usage, though I think currently it tends also to mean, "It
isn't the style or thing I prefer."

There's also a '42 snippet, which, if correctly dated, easily admits a
different interpretation, namely,  "It isn't who *I* am that counts; it's
who *you* are."

"That's who I am" presents too daunting a search.

"That's not who I am" also shows a good one in 1973.


On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 10:41 AM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: fun with phrases
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> What about the flip-side: "It's not who I am"?
>     VS-)
> On 9/27/2011 9:02 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > "It's part of who I am."
> >
> > Nothin' nowhere before a likely 1975 in GB, with some in the '80s.
> >
> > Many in the '90s, more than 500 since 2000.
> >
> > JL
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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