know from

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Dec 27 04:08:13 UTC 2002

>... RHHDAS attributes it to [<Yid- tsu visn fun gornisht 'to be ignorant']
>and cites it from
>1934(although Barry cited it earlier from 1933 at Temple U.)

I think this is roughly equivalent to my casual notion. The Yiddish phrase
here corresponds to (in standard German orthography) "zu wissen von gar
nichts", = "to know from/about absolutely nothing" (according to my
primitive understanding). But "know from" has wider application than just
"know from nothing" = "know [about] nothing". You can say "He knows from
horses" or "He doesn't know from horses", roughly "He knows [about]
horses", "He doesn't know [about] horses" respectively, I think. The German
(or Yiddish) word "von" has been 'glossed'/'translated' "from" whereas in
this context "about" might be more appropriate.

-- Doug Wilson

More information about the Ads-l mailing list