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  1. #1
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Default I have your number (Of course not!)

    Hiya,

    Has anyone of you ever stumbled on the idiom to have somebody´s number meaning to look right through somebody or I´ve got you sussed out / you´ve been rumbled?

    If at all, it should rather be of American origin, I reckon.

    Greetings

    Hucky



  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: I have your number (Of course not!)

    Well it's given as an idiom in the OALD.

  3. #3
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Default Re: I have your number (Of course not!)

    Dear fivejedjon,

    I´ve just checked. I couldn´t believe my eyes. If it is included in the OALD, it must be quite common. I wouldn´t have thought so because every time I have used it (in a jocular way) with native speakers they told me they had never heard that idiom before. From this I concluded that it had to be either restricted to regional usage or obsolete. Since I can´t even remember where I picked it up, I couldn´t rule out that I might have confused it. I even tried to locate it on the internet - and failed. So, sometimes the solution can be nearer than expected. The next thing I´m going to do is to look it up in similar monolingual dictionaries.

    Thanks for the hint!

    Hucky

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: I have your number (Of course not!)

    I should have added that I know the expression. I am not sure whether I actually use it, but I think I have done so.

  5. #5
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Default Re: I have your number (Of course not!)

    What would you say instead in the same meaning?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I have your number (Of course not!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    What would you say instead in the same meaning?
    Hmmm.

    I think that these days I would probably say, "I've got him/her sussed". Possibly to older friends (in both senses - elderly, and friends for a long time) I'd say, "I've got his/her number".

    If the person concerned has been deliberately putting on an act, I might say,"I've seen through him/her", or "I've rumbled him/her".

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I have your number (Of course not!)

    Certainly it is AmE, and where I live not uncommon. But in AmE it really can't be "I have your number". It's got to be "I've got your number."

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I have your number (Of course not!)

    Same goes for Br Eng. It's rather old-fashioned; as 5jj said, 'to have/get/have got someone sussed' is more common today, but 'got' would be required.

    b

  9. #9
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Default Re: I have your number (Of course not!)

    Dear probus,

    I´ve just replied to you on my other thread. So, what you have written here seems to be extra evidence that the have got-form is quite common in the US and thus not restricted to the UK.
    Coming back to the idiom itself, if I´ve got that right, you´d say that the average American would understand it.

    Hucky

  10. #10
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Default Re: I have your number (Of course not!)

    Dear BobK,

    To begin with, thanks a lot!

    Do you mean to say that the idiom in question would no more be commonly understood or used in the UK, thus being obsolete or archaic?

    Hucky

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