Charlie in Lexington, Kentucky, says his wife, who’s from the eastern part of the state, uses a peculiar phrase to indicate that something’s not her responsibility: Not my circus, not my monkeys. This dismissive saying is at least 30 years old, and is a calque, or exact translation, of a Polish phrase that Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy. English speakers elaborated on the expression, with several other versions such as Not my circus, not my monkeys, but the clowns definitely know me. Other versions: Not my money, not my business and Not my pig, not my farm.

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