This expression appears to be pretty widespread, for instance being in Wiktionary and also Futurama. Walk anyone recognize what the origin is? Also, what kind of dialect can I calls or I sees be?


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I to be not sure of the beginning of the story, but the phrase originates from a story about an argument in between three umpires. The first umpire says, "I phone call "em like I look at "em." The second one says, "I calls "em like they was." and the third one says, "They ain"t nothin" till i calls "em."

There room multiple interpretations the the story, and if you google it, you will find countless mentions of that (so no official source). It seems to be a story about objectivity or possibly perspective.

When that stands alone, it"s a blustery statement around confidence in one"s very own view the the situation.

You are watching: I call it like i see it


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I believe it’s an Umpire (baseball) reference; the plate umpire has the task of “calling” the legality of a pitch (ball or strike).

Obviously this job requires the umpire come “see” the sphere crossing in (or out) that the to win zone.

Finally, ’em is one elision of them.


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This phrase seems to come totally from baseball umpires. Also, the initial wording that the expression is "I call "em as I view "em".

The earliest instance I can uncover is 1912:

He call "em as he watch "em, and also he"s pretty virtually right most of the time. The times Dispatch

Another early example is indigenous 1917:

Rigler phone call "em as he sees "em, yet outside of the he is right. The evening World

Here"s another one indigenous 1937:

Umpire Helmore claims “he call ’em together he watch ’em v no appeal.” Sausalito News

And from 1944:

"I"m the umpire," stated the umpire, pushing earlier his little blue cap. "I phone call "em as I watch "em. And I look at this sphere as high and a small close. Now play ball!" Casey Jones and locomotive no. 638: story - issue 638


it seems choose to me that ns heard red skelton say that in among his charactors say i calls em the means I sees,em boy. The was funny then.


The exactly answer originates from the good Casey Stengel when he charged home plate in a series game as soon as he regulated the Yankees.

Stengel"s batter, v 2 out and having a full count, did no swing on pitch number 7. The home plate umpire yelled "Strike 3!" Casey to be furious, as were most of the Yankee fans. He fee the umpire and got in his face, screaming as just Casey could do. The umpire responded in a clearly Brooklyn interval of the period: "I phone call "em as I watch "em." It was loud enough for a NY sports reporter to hear the words and write castle down. Psychic in those days before security, reporters, VIPs and such satellite to the next of residence plate or simply a row or two up. The ump had to yell loud enough to drown out Casey.

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