A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 09, 2019
“I don’t know you from Adam’s off ox”

To “not know (someone) from Adam”—- Adam being the first man, as written in the Book of Genesis—is not to know someone. The expression has been cited in print since at least 1750.
To “not know (someone) from Adam’s off ox” means the same thing, but is slightly more expressive. An “off ox” or “off horse” is the right side of an animal, less familiar to a rider or driver. “He did not know from Adam’s off ox” was printed in the Eaton (OH) Weekly Democrat on August 24, 1871. “Did not know Smith from ‘Adam’s off horse’” was printed in the Los Angeles (CA) Times on August 24, 1893.
Wiktionary: know someone from Adam’s off ox
know someone from Adam’s off ox

Alternative form of know someone from Adam
(Oxford English Dictionary)
Adam, n.
not to know (someone) from Adam: not to know or recognize (a person) (at all); to be unacquainted with. Cf. know v. Phrases 38.
1750   Proc. Old Bailey 5 Dec. 8/2   Bourne. I don’t know that boy (meaning Hatton) from Adam.
1784   London Sessions Feb. 400/1   Some man stopped me, I do not know him from Adam.
1795   T. Wilkinson Wandering Patentee IV. 129   He was so great a stranger I should not have known him from our father Adam.
off, adv., prep., n., and adj.
Designating or relating to the right side of a horse, another animal, or a vehicle (opposed to the near side: see near adj. 3). Hence in compounds, as off horse (of a pair), off-foot, off-lead, off-leader, off-leg, off-ox (also figurative, a clumsy or stubborn person), off-wheel, off-wheeler.
1880   Jackson Sentinel (Maquoketa, Iowa) 25 Mar.  I didn’t know him from Adam’s off ox, on account of the ha’r on his face.
1933   Daily Progress (Charlottesville, Va.) 1 Apr. 4/3   I don’t know him from Adam’s (or God’s) off-ox.
The Dead Alive: a Comic Opera
By John O’Keeffe
Dublin: Sold by the Booksellers
Pg. 11:
Jacques, in the play of “How d’ye like it.”— There, where Harlequin Touchstone is—“Motley,” says he, “is your only man,” and he did not know me from Adam, only it came so apropos.
Chronicling America
24 August 1871, Eaton (OH) Weekly Democrat, “Come and See Me,” pg. 1, col. 7:
Understanding the matter as a request to reproduce the article, and accept of their hospitality in payment, he inserted it in his numerous publications, and thus gave a house he had never seen, and men whom he did not know from Adam’s off ox, a very favorable notoriety over a dozen State or more.
24 December 1873, Weekly Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO), “‘Old Haystacks’ on the Farmers’ Union,” pg. 2, col. 7:
... Max Clark, who three years ago wouldn’t have known a ten-acre farm from Adam’s off ox.
Chronicling America
29 January 1876, Essex County Herald (Guildhall, VT), “Our Washington Letter,” pg. 2, col. 2:
But the visitors of every day, ding-a-ling, goes the bell, and in comes some fellow, whom the member does not know from Adam’s off ox, and modestly requests that he be accompanied to the President, or one of the Secretaries, and put into a place.
28 December 1876, The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “The Morrison Committee,” pg. 2, col. 5:
Didn’t know the men who did it from God’s off ox, if he had one.
24 August 1893, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “A Bad Break,” pg. 5, col. 1:
Grant said no very heartily, and added that he certainly did not know Smith from “Adam’s off horse.”
Google Books
American Speech
Pg. 42:
POOR AS GOD’S OFF OX. Very poor.
OCLC WorldCat record
Adam’s off Ox. A Study in the Exactness of the Inexact
Author: James N Tidwell
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: The Journal of American Folklore, v66 n262 (19531001): 291-294
OCLC WorldCat record
On Not Knowing an A from the Windmill or Him from Adam’s Off Ox: Proverbial Forms of Ignorance
Author: R Levin
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: PROVERBIUM -COLUMBUS THEN BURLINGTON- 16, (1999): 133-140
World Wide Words (October 12, 2002)
Adam’s off ox
The off ox was the one on the off-side of the vehicle. If you stood behind the team looking forwards it was the one on the right-hand side. The driver walked on the left-hand side of the team, with the near-side ox at his right shoulder. He would get to know the personality and idiosyncrasies of this ox very well. However, the off ox was hidden behind the near-side one, and was yoked to it so that it could do nothing but follow it. So the off ox was — figuratively at least — less well known.
Replying to @Xela_RednaGG @WatchYerButt and 4 others
You do realize there are like 7.5 billion people on this planet, right? You are as unimportant as they come to me. I don’t know you from Adam’s off ox and I don’t care to know you. Nah. I’m not stalking you
8:57 PM - 20 Feb 2019

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Sunday, June 09, 2019 • Permalink

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