[Ads-l] Ain't got no clue

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 7 15:44:22 UTC 2022

I read further ahead in the 1864 citation. I agree with you.

On Mon, Nov 7, 2022 at 12:44 AM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>

> Dan Goncharoff wrote:
> > I am not sure references to clues by detectives, or in solving a mystery,
> > is a change in the original meaning of "not having a clue".
> Thanks for your response, Dan.
> I think that the detective in the 1864 citation had already gathered
> several clues.  When he said “I have not a clue” he was not being
> literal; instead, he was expressing the fact that he was stumped as
> indicated in the second sentence of the excerpt. This corresponds to
> the sense "to have no idea; not to know''.
> Of course, this analysis depends on the definition of a "clue".
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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