yesterday

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born yesterday

Extremely naïve, gullible, or unintelligent, like a newborn baby. Almost always used in the negative or as a rhetorical question. Don't think you can fool me with that old ruse, I wasn't born yesterday, you know. Of course I know that major political issues can't be fixed overnight. Do you think I was born yesterday?
See also: born, yesterday

yesterday's man/woman

Someone who has passed the pinnacle of his or her career. Bob is never going to give up his cushy job—he's yesterday's man, and his next career move is retirement!
See also: man, woman

be born yesterday

To be naïve or easily deceived. Often used in the phrase "I wasn't born yesterday." Oh, you expect me to believe that you've been in your room all night and didn't just sneak in the house a few minutes ago? Well, I wasn't born yesterday—and I heard the door open! Do you think I was born yesterday? There's no way that e-mail isn't a scam!
See also: born, yesterday

I need it yesterday.

Inf. an answer to the question "When do you need this?" (Indicates that the need is urgent.) Bob: When do you need that urgent survey? Bill: I need it yesterday. Mary: Where's the Wilson contract? Sue: Do you need it now? Mary: I need it yesterday! Where is it?
See also: need, yesterday

need something yesterday

Inf. to require something in a very big hurry. Yes, I'm in a hurry! I need it yesterday! When do I need it? Now! Now! No, I need it yesterday!
See also: need, yesterday

not born yesterday

Fig. experienced; knowledgeable in the ways of the world. I know what's going on. I wasn't born yesterday. Sally knows the score. She wasn't born yesterday.
See also: born, not, yesterday

Yesterday wouldn't be too soon.

Immediately.; Right away. (An answer to the question "When do you want this?") Mary: Mr. Franklin, when do you want this? Fred: Well, yesterday wouldn't be too soon. Alice: When am I supposed to have this finished? Sue: Yesterday wouldn't be too soon.
See also: soon, yesterday

I/he/she wasn't born yesterday!

something that you say in order to tell someone that a person is not stupid and cannot be easily deceived You'd better think of a better excuse about the dent in my car. I wasn't born yesterday, you know! You can't expect your mother to believe that - she wasn't born yesterday!
See There's one born every minute
See also: born

not born yesterday

More experienced and less naive than one appears to be, as in Don't think you can fool me; I wasn't born yesterday. This term gained currency from the title of Garson Kanin's popular Broadway play, Born Yesterday, which was made into an even more popular film. In both, Judy Holliday played a stereotypical dumb blonde who shows more common sense than her sophisticated acquaintances. [Early 1800s]
See also: born, not, yesterday

born yesterday

Naive or ignorant. Used in negative constructions: Of course I can use a computer; I wasn't born yesterday.
See also: born, yesterday
References in classic literature ?
Day before yesterday," she repeated, breaking off a spray of Mademoiselle's geranium; "then if you had not met me here to-day you wouldn't--when--that is, didn't you mean to come and see me?
The note, at any rate, that I put on the table yesterday," I pursued, "will have given him so scant an advantage-- for it contained only the bare demand for an interview-- that he is already much ashamed of having gone so far for so little, and that what he had on his mind last evening was precisely the need of confession.
I smile with joy at seeing him still alive, and I weep to think of his mother, who was sacrificed yesterday as a cow.
you are taking a poetical tone, and the comedy of yesterday turns to a tragedy this evening.
The count, however, his commissioned me to assure you that two or three days' rest, with plenty of barley for their sole food during that time, will bring them back to as fine, that is as terrifying, a condition as they were in yesterday.
The lessons of yesterday had been that retribution was a laggard and blind.
I saw it yesterday and I had the weakness of being moved by those tears for a time.
As it was done yesterday the strong probability was that we should find the words in yesterday's issue.
Cake and wine; yesterday was baking-day, so poor sick grandmother is to have something good, to make her stronger.
DEAR HARRY: You may have wondered at the very few words I could find to say to you when we met so strangely yesterday.
Since yesterday evening my fate has been sealed; to be loved by you or to die.
She has not been very well since you were here yesterday, but she is better this morning, and I think it is very likely that she will be cheered by seeing you again.
Consider, you are only revealing to me what I know already, and what I plainly saw yesterday, through that most artful of all disguises, which you had put on, and which must have deceived any one who had not perfectly known the world.
Maxwell say anything yesterday about engaging another stenographer?
Dunster left for Yarmouth, you say, yesterday morning?