They Don't Think It Be Like It Is But It Do

They Don't Think It Be Like It Is But It Do

Updated Sep 17, 2013 at 12:49PM EDT by Brad.

Added Jan 10, 2013 at 05:46PM EST by Don.

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“They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is, But It Do” is a quote attributed to the former Major League Baseball player Oscar Gamble that is often mocked on various web forums and image boards for its indecipherable quality, similar to the questions “How is babby formed?” and “Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?”


It is unclear where Gamble’s quote originated from. According to the Touching All Bases[1] sports blog, Gamble once responded to a question about the prevalence of racism in Major League Baseball by saying “People don’t think it be like it is, but it do.” According to sports blogger Doug Lemoine,[4] Gamble uttered the famous phrase while discussing the chaotic New York Yankees management in 1975. A grainy black-and-white photograph of Gamble captioned with “They don’t think it be like it is, but it do” (shown below) was posted on the Brownpau Tumblr[11] blog on May 4th, 2010.


Due to the cryptic nature of Gamble’s quote, many have speculated about what he actually meant to say. On May 9th, 2010, Yahoo Answers[7] user Leon submitted a question asking what the quote meant, to which user Nick responded that Gamble was accusing others of living in denial about the truth. Redditor bunglejerry submitted a post to the /r/linguistics[5] subreddit on April 2nd, 2012, which attempted to discern the meaning behind the Gamble quote. Redditor ThrustVectoring then replied to the post with his interpretation:

“They incorrectly believe that this is an atypical state of affairs”


On April 15th, 2011, the “They don’t think it be like it is, but it do” Facebook[6] page was created, which received over 1,000 likes within the next two years. On February 22nd, 2012, Redditor IeIgHtNiNe submitted the black-and-white photo with the title “The meaning of the universe contained in a single sentence” to the /r/funny[3] subreddit, where it received over 9,000 up votes and 280 comments prior to being archived. On March 31st, IGN Forums[10] member Dr. Indiana started a discussion thread about the Gamble quote, to which member WillOftheWearer responded with an embedded clip of a young boy stumbling over his words. On January 14th, 2013, YouTuber RollFreakinTide37 uploaded a video in which a television news anchor reads a viewer’s opinion quoting Gamble in response to the United States fiscal cliff controversy (shown below, right).

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