My Google-Fu isn’t all that helpful. I can’t seem to find a definitive answer to the meaning and origins of “well slap my ass and call me Judy/Sally/Charlie/Shirley.”

It seems to be a smart-ass expression of surprise or incredulity (can someone tell me if I’m wrong about that), and there seems to be an earlier version along the lines of “Well cut off my legs and call me Shorty!” So okay, I found this in on on-line article, but the article doesn’t actually elaborate on the origins, it just says “yeah, neat, it’s similar to the Shorty one.”

So, my friends. IS it just an expression of surprise? (or does it have smarmier origins)? And where the heck does it come from?


Adding: Is it in any way related to “I wasn’t born yesterday!” but more the opposite, like when you slap a baby’s butt and then christen him/her?


My guess? It’s a reference to newborns. The doctor/midwife/nurse/whoever’s doing the delivery will give the baby a smack to encourage the lungs to start, and it’s also around this time that the baby is named, hence the “call me…” part. So the person using the expression would be saying that he or she was apparently naïve about something, as a newborn would be.

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Chronos:

My guess? It’s a reference to newborns. The doctor/midwife/nurse/whoever’s doing the delivery will give the baby a smack to encourage the lungs to start, and it’s also around this time that the baby is named, hence the “call me…” part. So the person using the expression would be saying that he or she was apparently naïve about something, as a newborn would be.

That’s what I was figuring. I think the article that said “Well cut ff my legs and call me Shorty!” confused me.


There are other similar expressions, though, and just because this one seems to make some kinda sense doesn’t mean it’s original, or unrelated to the others. It seems to be a general expression of surprise – so what’s thet got to do with being a newborn? I have an example from the mid-1960s that’s always amazed and amused me:“Well pour me out and call me buttermilk”

I’ve never seen it before or since, but it’s clearly built along the same lines as the other examples.

See more: Wh A Piece Of Land Surrounded By Water On Three Sides, What Is A Land With Water On Three Sides


We have a welcome mat outside our door that says, “Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit.”

It’s there until the end of the month when my wife puts out the welcome mat for May. (Yes, at least one for each month.)


I’ve heard the phrases, “I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, y’know,” or “I may have been born at night, but I wasn’t born last night” for when you think someone’s trying to take advantage of you.