Not give someone the time of day



verb phrase

Not do the slightest favor for; not greet or speak to; have contempt for: Like him? I wouldn’t give that bastard the time of day

[1593+; the dated instance, from Shakespeare, is not in the negative]
Ignore someone, refuse to pay the slightest attention to someone, as in He’s tried to be friendly but she won’t give him the time of day. This expression, first recorded in 1864, alludes to refusing even to answer the question, “What time is it?”

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  • Not half bad

    see: not bad

  • Not have a bean

    Be destitute or penniless, as in He doesn’t have a bean, but she’s set on marrying him. Bean has been a slang term for a guinea or a sovereign coin since the early 1800s. The precise expression was first recorded in 1928.



  • Not have an earthly chance

    Also, stand no earthly chance. Have no chance whatever, as in She doesn’t have an earthly chance of getting into medical school, or Bill stands no earthly chance of winning the lottery. The use of no earthly in the sense of “no conceivable” dates from the mid-1700s.

  • Not have anything on

    see: have nothing on



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