One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in the biblical and Koranic traditions) the first man. According to the Book of Genesis, Adam was created by God as the progenitor of the human race and lived with Eve in the Garden of Eden.
not know someone from Adam
Not know or be completely unable to recognize the person in question.
- ‘I don't know her from Adam, for starters, and from what I've heard about her, we wouldn't get on all that well.’
- ‘There's nothing more transparent than a politician smiling and greeting you like a long lost friend when you know well he doesn't know you from Adam.’
- ‘Complete strangers will pour their hearts out because I don't know them from Adam.’
- ‘I don't know Polly from Adam, but the commercial annoys me every time it's on - which is a lot.’
- ‘If you bank in the high street the person behind the counter doesn't know you from Adam.’
- ‘They didn't know me from Adam but they were so kind and considerate and generous despite their grief.’
- ‘And despite the fact that he doesn't know me from Adam, he is prepared to trust me with all that money.’
- ‘They know that they are in no danger of us gossiping or running with tales to their family or friends, as in most cases we don't know them from Adam.’
- ‘They don't know us from Adam yet they've done all this for us.’
- ‘Or are you just a number at the end of a telephone talking to a glorified clerk who doesn't know you from Adam and is merely looking at some numbers on a computer screen?’
From Hebrew 'āḏām ‘man’, later taken to be a name.
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