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Doctor Livingstone, I presume

A humorous greeting. The phrase refers to Scottish explorer David Livingstone, who was presumed lost in Africa in the mid-19th century. When reporter H.M. Stanley finally located him, he greeted Livingstone with this now-famous phrase. You must be the gentleman I'm looking for—Doctor Livingstone, I presume?
See also: doctor, presume

Doctor Livingstone, I presume?

Jocular You are who I think you are, are you not? Oh, there you are. Doctor Livingstone, I presume?
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presume (up)on someone or something

to take unwelcome advantage of someone or something. I didn't mean to seem to presume upon you. I apologize. I did not feel that you presumed on me.
See also: on, presume

Doctor Livingstone, I presume?

A 19th-century explorer named Dr. David Livingstone became something of a national hero through his articles and lectures about his adventures in Africa. In 1864, Livingstone led an expedition to discover the source of the Nile. When little to nothing was heard from or about Livingstone after many years, Europeans and Americans became concerned. In 1871, the publisher of the New York Herald hired Henry Stanley, a newspaper reporter, to find Livingstone. Heading a group of some two hundred men, Stanley headed into the African interior. After nearly eight months he found Livingstone in a small village on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. As Stanley described the encounter, “As I advanced slowly toward him I noticed he was pale, looked wearied . . . I would have embraced him, only, he being an Englishman, I did not know how he would receive me; so I . . . walked deliberately to him, took off my hat, and said, ‘Dr. Livingstone, I presume?' The phrase “‘Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” caught the public's fancy, and any number of would-be wits greeted friends with it until the phrase lost all traces of cleverness. But that never stopped people from continuing to use it long past the public's memory of who Livingstone or Stanley were.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The boys in the group accepted the story, presumedly because it conformed to the structure and themes which they held as superior.
Presumedly Florida courts would follow this more modern view.
The reason the airbag deploys with such force is telling: The government requires the bags to have enough force to protect someone not wearing a seat belt, who would presumedly be shot toward the dashboard at greater speed.
Since respondents came from the same locale and presumedly confront similar prices for similar market goods, prices comprising the composite good, X, and avoidance goods, A, are assumed to be identical across households.
As suburban schools become less insular, private schools presumedly will attract an escalating share of urban exiters.
In addition to their presumedly greater knowledge and skills, another reason that college graduates are less vulnerable to business cycle expansions and contractions is that they tend to work in industries that are less susceptible to swings in the business cycle.
If that evidence base was available then presumedly it would be legal in the UK and Ireland and the company would not have to resort to such desperate measures.
with the Coliseum group, Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly and presumedly Marvin Davis, who holds an option on the land at Hollywood Park.
He would always have two or three, what he called stool-pigeons ejected from meetings by strong-arm methods while gushing females and presumedly red-blooded men were awe struck at the daring of the prophet.
Presumedly, his is a coffee that might go well on a cool north Pacific coast night with a novel by Steinbeck--or for that matter, Paris in April with Gertrude Stein.
Many people in the safety community, she says, were surprised when radioactive releases from TMI turned out to be only a fraction of what the source term would have predicted for a presumedly less serious accident.
5m people, including children, presumedly do not have regular check-ups and have no access to professional advice about maintaining oral and dental health.