Adam » atom

Chiefly in:   know so. from atom

Classification: English – /t/-flapping – proper names – idiom-related

Spotted in the wild:

  • Gee, look, assholes, the world’s now a different place and your situation has so much improved b/c you killed defenseless citizens that didn’t know you from atom and have no bearing on whatever bullshit persecutions you feel you’ve faced. (, comment, July 7, 2005)
  • Or you don’t know me from atom and you’ve only just discovered my blog today, but you are impressed with how utterly confident I sound in propounding my hypothesis, so you figure I must be right and you start telling everybody you meet that they should read “The Thinking Toolbox” because it is the best book ever written on the subject. (Christian Catalog)
  • Eminem had a track, which was dope. But they shaped the sound of that record and fucked the game up. Now here comes a ni99a like me comes along. He don’t know me from atom, man. (Interview with 9th Wonder, October 30, 2003)
  • Someone who talks shit about me and faces me afterwards gains respect from me even if I don’t like what they have to say. While someone who hides behind the scenes and doesn’t know me from atom but talks shit about me just makes me wonder if they need to get a life. (Les Femmes Cafe, guestbook entry)
  • Don’t know you from atom. I have no problem with you. (alt.sys.pc-clone.packardbell, Nov 9, 1998)

I had the idea of searching for this eggcorn when I heard a speaker from Scotland talk about people who “don’t know him from Adam” (presumably) with a pronunciation that sounded like _atom_.

Arnold Zwicky pointed out in e-mail that this is also a potential case of a /t/-flapping substitution, which is typical for American English.

| link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2005/08/06 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Emily-Elizabeth , 2006/12/06 at 6:21 am

    I think that, based off of the content of these entries, it can be chalked up to basic human stupidity.

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