Just Fell Off the Turnip Truck

Also: Just Fell off the Cabbage Truck

Meaning of Idiom ‘Just Fell off the Turnip Truck’

Someone who just fell off the turnip truck is naive, gullible, inexperienced, easily fooled, ignorant, unsophisticated, etc.

Usage

This chiefly rural idiom is often given as fall off the turnip truck but it is most often used in the past tense and preceded by ‘just’. It is often used in the negative as a way of expressing that a person is not foolish, naive, or gullible, as in “I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, you know.” An equivalent expression is “I wasn’t born yesterday.”

Examples of Use

“Are you going to let Rick borrow your car?” asked Jessie. “Heck no. I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck,” said Roy.

“You should have seen Wendall at the grocery store. He stood staring at the automatic doors like he just fell off the turnip truck.”

“Just because I’m from the country you probably think I just fell off the turnip truck.”

Just fell off the turnip truck idiom meaning

Origin

Used since at least the 1970’s, many plausible origins have been suggested for this idiom, such as the idea that it alludes to a country bumpkin who has hitched a ride to town on a farmer’s turnip truck. It is also just as likely that the turnip truck alluded to is a railroad truck. Although the turnip has been used in a pejorative sense to mean something like ‘hick’ it is unclear that this association spawned the idiom. A clue may be found in the less common variation ‘fall off the cabbage truck’ and related to the myth that babies come from cabbage patches. A person who ‘just fell off the cabbage truck’ was ‘born yesterday’ and thus is not wise to the ways of the world. The switch to turnips could have been natural enough, as the turnip is such a rural vegetable, and it also offers pleasing alliteration.

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