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    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #1

    I haven't got the least idea.

    Hello.

    "What's the time?" "I haven't got the least idea."

    I haven't got the least idea.
    Does this sound natural in American English.

    Thank you.

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    • Join Date: Oct 2008
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    #2

    Re: I haven't got the least idea.

    Dear Daruma:

    It would be immediately understood, but may not be the most common way to say this.
    Many people say, 'I haven't (got) the slightest idea,' or, 'I haven't (got) the foggiest (notion).'

    I hope this is helpful,

    Petra


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #3

    Re: I haven't got the least idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    "What's the time?" "I haven't got the least idea."

    I haven't got the least idea.
    Does this sound natural in American English.

    Thank you.
    To me, it sounds British. It's the "I haven't got" when a Yank would say "I don't have."

    I think an American would be more likely to say "I don't have the faintest idea" or even "I don't have the faintest."

    "No clue" might be an answer too, especially where "deduction" is required (rather than simple "fact-finding" -- such as the time.)

    "What is making Sherrell so grouchy?"
    "Not the faintest" or "No clue" or "I have no idea!" or "Beats me."

    "I have no idea" can be quite dismissive:
    "What did the professor mean when he said so-and-so during the lecture?"
    "I have no idea." (This can mean, "Oh for heaven's sake, I don't intend to discuss this with you.")

    "Dunno" or "I dunno" could indicate lack of caring as well as not knowing.
    TEACHER: "Are you ignorant or just apathetic?"
    TEENAGER: "I dunno and I don't care."

    A shrug could be made by body language and eye rolling to mean
    "Yes! Ain't it awful!" or "Who cares?" as well as "Your guess is as good as mine."
    Last edited by Ann1977; 27-Sep-2009 at 08:17.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #4

    Re: I haven't got the least idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    "What's the time?" "I haven't got the least idea."

    I haven't got the least idea.
    Does this sound natural in American English.

    Thank you.
    It sounds more British to me too.

    I haven't got the slightest idea. I don't have the slightest idea.

    These are the usual expressions.

    There's also this:

    I haven't the foggiest. (foggiest idea)

    Something would have to inspire me to say that.

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