"Doesn't know from sic'em"

Steve Clason stevec at TOPDOGSTRATEGY.COM
Sun Nov 6 19:45:26 UTC 2005

On 11/6/2005 11:47 AM Sam Clements wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Sam Clements <SClements at NEO.RR.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "Doesn't know from sic'em"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I can find cites as early as 1906(McClure's Magazine) which would indicate
> that it was only "doesn't know sic 'em."  The 1906 cite was a Western cowboy
> story.  Sounded more like a Southernism or Westernism to me.

Growing up (central California in the 50s) I often heard "Don't know
sic'em from sooey", as roughly the equivalent of "Don't know shit from

"Sooey", FWIW, is the sound you make to call a pig.

Steve Clason

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