know from

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Dec 26 21:05:58 UTC 2002

At 2:28 PM -0500 12/26/02, Fritz Juengling wrote:
>The first time I remember hearing this was in the movie "The gods must be
>Crazy."  The scientist, his buddy and the Bushman are going to drive
>somewhere and the bushman just runs onto the vehicle without using the door.
>The buddy says, "he doesn't know from doors."  So, I had always associated it
>with South african english. I did hear it a few days ago on Hogan's Heroes,
>though. Marya, the Russian woman, says "What do I know from Rockets?"
>However, she is playing a native speaker of Russian.  I don't know why the
>writers would have put that phrase into the story, though.  Is it common in
>Russian-English?  I have never heard it from any of my Russian students or
My guess, based on the above, is that it was incorporated into New
York City English from Yiddish, which (again based on the above)
calqued "know from" from Russian.  All speculative, though.


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