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?

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    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 '17 at 18:01
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    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 '17 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". – Tomasz P. Szynalski May 11 '17 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"? – Tomasz P. Szynalski May 11 '17 at 10:31
  • Another idiomatic way of expressing this would be "I never took you for a..." – Raygun Apr 11 '18 at 14:20

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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