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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 supposedly greeted Livingstone with this now-famous phrase. You must be the gentleman I'm looking for—Doctor Livingstone, I presume?
See also: doctor

presume on (someone or something)

To take advantage of someone or something in a presumptuous, unwarranted, or unwelcome manner. I always try to give my students the benefit of the doubt, but those who would presume on my leniency will find themselves facing harsh punishments. I'm your brother, Tim, I want to help you—just don't presume on me, that's all. Thank you for your offer, but I wouldn't want to presume on your hospitality.
See also: on, presume
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Doctor Livingstone, I presume?

Jocular You are who I think you are, are you not? Oh, there you are. Doctor Livingstone, I presume?
See also: doctor

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.
See also: doctor
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
Un responsable de la Garde nationale tunisienne (gendarmerie) et trois presumes terroristes ont ete tues, lundi matin, dans un accrochage dans la zone de Hydra, dans le gouvernorat de Kasserine, rappelle-t-on.
En 2004, la France a ete condamnee par la Cour europeenne des droits de l'Homme pour la lenteur de ses procedures judiciaires a l'encontre des presumes genocidaires venus s'installer en France.
La voiture de la victime que le presume meurtrier a utilise pour quitter les lieux du crime a ete retrouvee dans la ville de Benguerir.
There's a kind of disappointment, is there not, in what Cocteau did and what we presume him to have done.
However, "if we are to presume anything, we should presume that people would wish to do the morally right thing" that is, to make cadaver organs "available for life-saving or life-enhancing use" (p.
Many who read this comment will automatically presume the child speaking is a girl and project their corresponding biases onto her.
Experienced homicide investigators generally presume that all unattended deaths are murders until proven otherwise, except when they occur in the water.
The unclaimed property laws presume that property exists based on the issuance of a check or the making of a particular accounting entry.
As a lapsed "nnibynwyr" of many years standing, I would not presume to speak for the Church in Wales but the letter from Archbishop Morgan dealt with the issue clearly and concisely.
But Steiner can hardly presume to speak for his rabbi, who surely must know something about the Ten Commandments besides being able to name them.
The allowance of presume parentage where a man is married to the mother of a child at any time between conception and birth of the child or, if unmarried, registered on the birth certificate as the child's father
Why then, if we are owners of our own bodies, is he critical of me and SPUC for opposing draft legislation that wants to presume that if someone hasn't made clear that they do not want their organs used the Government can presume ownership of their bodies and take their organs?
They should not presume that, because a marriage has broken down, it was invalid to begin with.
"If we presume everyone does - unless certain conditions are met- we don''t want to be in a position where we are taking organs against the wishes of the family.
So if doctors can presume consent unless there is a declaration to the contrary, more organs will be available for transplant - at least in theory.