I was simply watching the pevaluation for Blue Velvet (1986) and heard Kyle McLachlan usage the phrase: “That’s for me to know, and also you to uncover out”.

I assume the expression is probably older than that movie, however I can’t find anypoint on the internet saying when and wright here it originated.



Early Elephind newspaper database matches for the phrase

An Elephind newspaper database search transforms up one stray instance of the expression from 1866 and one circumstances that appeared in 4 different newsdocuments from July via November 1895. Here are the salso earliest distinct matches, in chronological order.

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From "The Killing of John Counts, Alias Dawkins, a Freedguy," in the Daily Phoenix (August 9, 1866):

On Sunday morning, a tiny freedmale, residing at Mr. John A. Smith"s, some three miles over the city, told him that 2 colored males had met him, near the branch, (which i but a brief distance from Mr. Smith"s residence,) and asked him to display them the nearemainder means to the Charlotte railroad, which he did. One of them had actually a bag of money, and provided him twenty-5 cents in silver for his trouble. The various other had two pistols. The bit fellow asked the guy where be gained so much money. He replied: "That is for me to recognize and you to discover out." He proved them on, through the salt-petre farm, and also then returned residence and offered the indevelopment.

From W.J. Lampton,"A Mountain Courtship: Just How Susan Stebbins Was Won by the Homliest Man on the Lick," in the Indianapolis News (July 5, 1895), reprinted from the New York Sun:

""I s"pose," claims I, "that you don"t keer ef I speak and also talk to you fer a minute, carry out you?""

""I ain"t keerin" what you execute," says she, kinder sullen.

""You look choose you wuz expectin" somebody yourself," says I, feelin" ez ef I"d like to choke whoever the feller wuz.

""That"s what," states she, and I felt more"n ever before prefer chokin" somebody.

""Who is it?" states I, watchin" the streaks uv a laugh "round her mouth and eyes.

""That"s fer me to recognize and also you to find out," claims she, laughin" ideal out.

This very same story (under the title "A Mountain Idyl") likewise ran in newsdocuments in Princeton, Minnesota (October 3, 1895), Des Moines, Iowa (October 11, 1895), and also Grand Marais, Minnesota (November 9, 1895).

From W.T. Burrows, "Was Out of Balance," in the St. Landry Clarion (August 4, 1900):

"I say, Fred, come below and also check out what I have fallen heir to." This as the initially thing that greeted his ears on the morning after the fight with the cash balance, and also as he followed his wife into the parlor of their house he was amazed to check out on the parlor floor a beautiful rug that had actually not been there the day prior to.

"Why, wright here did you obtain this, my dear?" he asked.

"That, sir, is for me to recognize and you to uncover out," she answered, via a mischievous twinkle of her eyes.

From Bide Dudley, "Real News About Real People," in the Evening World (April 7, 1921):

Hob Jackchild, a father, stuck his head into the parlor of his mansion on Main Street, his feet staying in the hall.

"Ellie!" he dubbed to his beautiful daughter.

"Oh, what the devil do you want?" he responded sweetly.

"Are the Count in thar7"

"That"s for me to recognize and you to find out."

Bang! The door slammed, yet trouble was in the air.

And from Max Shulmale, "On Campus with Max Shulguy," in the Thresher (March 25, 1955):

Dr. Willard Hale Sigafoos, head of the department of anthropology at Southern Reserve College and worldwide well-known as an authority on primitive peoples, changed yesterday from a 4 year scientific exploration to the headwaters of the Amazon River. Amongst the many kind of interesting mementos of his journey is his own head, shrunk to the dimension of a kumquat. He refused to disclose exactly how his head shrinking was achieved. "That"s for me to understand and also you to discover out," he said through a tiny, however saucy grin.

Early Google Books database matches for the phrase

The earliest Google Books enhance for the phrase is from an unfigured out story in Godey"s Magazine (1881) :

"You might trust me, sir. I recognize the police are after him via a sharp stick ; however I"ll throw them off the scent if you provide the word, and also ago it up through a pile of the shiners."

"How will certainly you accomplish it?" wondered about Breysdel, doubtingly.

"That"s for me to understand, and also you to discover out, your honor; but I understand some of the dodges of the gentry, I do. What"ll you give?"

"Five of the coins, besides those already promised you for the rerevolve of the child."

From undetermined court testimony in Documents (1883) :

Q. Where were you from the 15th of July, 1880, to the time you saw Danvers? A. Attfinishing to my organization.

Q. Where? A. In different places.

Q. Name one? A. Well, Lynnfield.

Q. Any other? A. Yes, wherever before I chose to go.

Q. Wbelow did you choose to go? A. That is for me to know, and for you to discover out.

And from an undetermined story in Munsey"s Magazine (1921) :

"You asked me a little while ago if I was in this city at the hour when the crime was committed. I answered that it was for me to recognize and also for you to uncover out. I"ll answer straight currently, simply to stop this absurd suspicion which has actually been directed versus me: I was not in the city at that hour, or within 6 hrs of midnight. I was in Nashville."


All of the examples cited above—which selection in publication year from 1866 to 1955—use the phrase "that"s for me to recognize and also you to find out" (or a cshed variant) in a really modern way—as a snappy retort to someone who is being inappropriately nosy or who is ssuggest being naturally curious however whose question has prompted a dismissive or teasing response from the speaker.

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All of the nineteenth-century instances seem to be from the USA, which provides at least a circumstantial situation for its having actually a UNITED STATE beginning. The 1866 instance is attributed to a babsence speaker, yet the succeeding instances present no indicators of involving African-American speakers.