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  1. #11
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: idiom about knowing nothing

    PS Puru Muru: if it's a man you don't know, you 'don't know him from Adam'.

    b

  2. #12
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    Default Re: idiom about knowing nothing

    Quote Originally Posted by Puru Muru View Post
    If you want to say that you know nothing about something, is there some idiom in English for it? Something like "I know neither night nor day about it", "I know neither earth nor sky about it" or anything similar, or not similar?
    If you don't understand something - say a movie or a speech - you can say, "I couldn't make head nor tail of it."
    That's close, but it's for 'understanding' not 'knowing'.

  3. #13
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: idiom about knowing nothing

    As a Pole, I must love the etymology of the word "bupkis": bupkis - Wiktionary

  4. #14
    Puru Muru is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: idiom about knowing nothing

    Thanks for all!
    The question arose because an Estonian idiom, literally "I know/understand neither night nor sky about it" has changed in the youth slang into "I know/understand neither night nor hat about it", and it was assumed that the reason for the change was the example of an English similar idiom. My opinion was that there is no such example and it seems that I was right.

  5. #15
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: idiom about knowing nothing

    I think you're right.

    Other alternatives that haven't been mentioned yet:

    I don't know squat (or an alternative word that uses the same beginning and ending letters)
    I haven't a clue/Not a clue / No clue (this last has a bit of an American tinge to my ear)
    That's a closed book to me
    (The subject needn't be 'I' in any of these cases.)

    b

  6. #16
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: idiom about knowing nothing

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    As a Pole, I must love the etymology of the word "bupkis": bupkis - Wiktionary
    It has a charm.

  7. #17
    missiebarcz is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: idiom about knowing nothing

    Puru,
    None that I am aware of here in the US. Odd that it changed from sky to hat.
    Missie

  8. #18
    probus's Avatar
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    Default Re: idiom about knowing nothing

    "I haven't got a clue" is common. It also has the virtue of being neither pejorative nor profane.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: idiom about knowing nothing

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    We also, informally, say that we know f*** all about something, shortening that to F.A. or sweet F.A. if we are faint-hearted. We can also know b*gg** all or so* all about it.

    My genteel use of asterisks suggests that you do not use these expressions yourself. Some find them offensive.

    More acceptable is I haven't the faintest. The word idea at the end is often omitted, as it was there.
    Well ! I know what f*** is but I have no idea what b*gg** is !

    You sure have seen "fuck" in the dictionaries. It's not written as f*** there because they are means for teaching and learning English but they also say that some find it offensive since mentioning politeness or offensiveness is also part of teaching and learning a language.

    My point is I am against writing fuck and other similar words with asterisks because here we are learning and teaching English. We are working with words and sentences and here fuck is a word just like any other word.

  10. #20
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: idiom about knowing nothing

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    I have no idea what b*gg** is !
    Link.

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