born at night, but not last night

I hadn't heard this before, though I see there's some discussion elsewhere on the 'net. Have others heard it?
Is it heard in the UK?

It's rather clever--more so that the well-known "I wasn't born yesterday."


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/06/u...transition.html?ribbon-ad-idx=3&rref=politics

Hayes, CEO, United Technologies, speaking about keeping the Carrier plant open and pressure from Donald Trump:

“There was a cost as we thought about keeping the Indiana plant open. At the same time — and I’ll tell you this because you and I — we know each other, but I was born at night but not last night. I also know that about 10 percent of our revenue comes from the U.S. government.”
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I was born at night, but not last night?
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The Big Apple: “I was born at night, but not last night”

Entry from July 09, 2009

“I was born at night, but not last night”

"I wasn’t born yesterday!” is an expression dating from at least the 18th century meaning that a person is not so naive about a matter (financial or otherwise).

“I was born at night, but not last night” (or “I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night") means that a person might be naive, but not that naive to fall for any scam. The origin of this phrase is uncertain. “I was born at night...” is cited in print from at least 1971. American financier T. Boone Pickens has used the phrase often.


T. Boone Pickens - Telling It Like It Is**
ON JUDGMENT
“I may have been born at night, but not last night.”
(I’m not fooled that easily.)

**Sorry, this website is no longer up.
 
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  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I am immediately suspicious of anybody who feels the need to say this sort of thing about themself.
    I'm not familiar with this particular idiom, only with "I wasn't born yesterday!" and "I didn't drop off the tree yesterday!".
    Your last link doesn't work for me.

    To me, it has a more general meaning: "I am not stupid".

    (Of course, I never say it.)
     

    DonnyB

    Moderator Emeritus
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Neither have I. There are a few alternatives to the traditional "I wasn't born yesterday" in quite common circulation, but that's a new one on me.
     

    waltern

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I've heard it - it's a folksy, Southern US expression, like "I didn't just fall off the turnip truck" or "This ain't my first rodeo."
     
    I have heard it enough times to regard it as a tired and unoriginal cliche. I concur with waltern's description of it as "a folksy, Southern US expression", although I confess that as a thoroughly urban Yankee I am immune to the supposed charm of such things. I also don't follow its logic -- are people born at night supposed to be more naive than those born during the day, regardless of their age? (And I will add that I was born at dawn, so I have no dog in that fight... :cool:)
     
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