Not know from nothing



verb phrase

To be ignorant; be deeply uninformed or ill-informed: Gallo knows from nothing

[1936+; fr Yiddish nit zu wissen fin gornisht]

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know from nothing

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  • Not know shit from shinola

    verb phrase NOT KNOW one’s ASS FROM one’s ELBOW •Often euphemized: a tightfisted banker who doesn’t know what from Shinola/ In high school I didn’t know shoot from Shinola [1930+; fr Shinola2, a brand of shoe polish; used partly for a suggestion of brown color, mainly for alliteration]

  • Not know someone from adam

    verb phrase (also Adam’s off ox or from Adam’s house cat)Tobe entirely unacquainted with or uncognizant of: We’re bigger than 90 percent of the companies on the Big Board, but nobody knows us from Adam/ I didn’t know from Adam’s house cat who Nolan Ryan was (entry form 1843+, ox 1890+, cat 1908+) Be unable […]



  • Not know something if it bit someone

    verb phrase To be quite ignorant and unperceptive: Kuttner wouldn’t know a strategic trade policy if it bit him on the leg (1990s+)

  • Not know where to turn

    Also, not know which way to jump or turn. Have no idea of how to get help or what course to take. For example, With all these offers coming in, he didn’t know where to turn, or When her car was towed, Meg was distraught and did not know which way to jump. The first […]



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