Literal-Minded

Linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally

I Hate the Boss of Me!

Posted by Neal on July 21, 2004

Here is something that my brother Glen never said to me while we were growing up:

You’re not the boss of me!

However, he did say this on a number of occasions:

You’re not my boss!

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3 Responses to “I Hate the Boss of Me!”

  1. […] On the Boss of Me Readers who have been with me since 2004 may remember a couple of posts I did when I was looking into the history of the phrase You’re not the boss of me […]

  2. […] end credits was written and performed by They Might Be Giants (you know, the guys who did “(You’re Not the) Boss of Me“). Here, see for […]

  3. Dan said

    I used that phrase on my mom spontaneously, having never heard it before, in 1967 when I was five. I had been fishing with my stepdad, who had been feeding me black licorice and telling me that it would grow hair on my chest and make me a man. As soon as I got home my mom told me to do something, and confident in my new licorice induced manliness I declared “You’re not the boss of me.” The resulting ass whooping made it clear that she was, in fact, the boss of me.

    I thought that I had coined that phrase until I searched the internet and found references to it that go back to the 1800’s.

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