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Who Struck John

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Lisa in Wilmington, North Carolina, remembers her grandmother using the expression who struck John to mean “confusion,” “foolishness,” or “bad behavior.” A common variant is “who shot John.” No one’s sure who John was, but this phrase is predated by a similar phrase, who struck Billy Patterson, a refrain from a 19th-century minstrel song. This is part of a complete episode.

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