Is the idiomatic expression to have somebody down as somebody a primarily British phrase?

For example:

  • I never had you down as a Luddite.

If so, is there a corresponding American idiom?

  • 1
    I can't address the britishness of the phrase (which is why I'm commenting instead of answering), but a common version of the statement in my neck of the woods (midwestern US) would be "I never figured you for a Luddite."
    – Hellion
    May 10, 2017 at 18:01
  • 1
    I can't really address the Britishness either, but in my area (New York City) to have someone down is usually used to mean more literally "to have someone recorded"; for example, "I have you down for 7 PM" = "I have your appointment recorded for 7 PM."
    – stangdon
    May 10, 2017 at 19:08
  • @Hellion Thank you – this is the phrase I was looking for! You should post an answer. You can address the Britishness by saying something like "I'm an American and the phrase sounds unfamiliar to me". May 11, 2017 at 10:25
  • @stangdon Thank you. Yeah, the "recorded" meaning is definitely more common. Do you mean that "I never had you down as a ..." sounds weird or unfamiliar to you, like "We need to sit down and sort the problem out"? May 11, 2017 at 10:31
  • Another idiomatic way of expressing this would be "I never took you for a..."
    – user73622
    Apr 11, 2018 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


The phrase "to have somebody down as something" is used in the sense of "regard someone as/think someone as. A synonym of this phrase is "to put someone down as". You use these phrases when you think someone is a particular type or class of person.

However, there are some other verbs or phrases that are more common and idiomatic. For example, you can say:

I never thought of you as a Luddite = I never had/put you down as a Luddite.


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