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15 Comments

  • Alina, thank you for the suggestion. That’s a good one to join the list too – it’s now been added.

  • Along the same lines as ‘I haven’t the faintest idea’ but a little more emphatic is ‘I don’t have the foggiest (idea/clue/notion),’ which plays nicely on the idea of confusion or ignorance being like fog. The noun is optional: ‘Who was that guy?’ ‘I haven’t the foggiest. I thought he was a friend of yours.’

  • Another way to say “I don’t know” in my family (my dad would almost always use this) : “Your guess is as good as mine.”, which means he didn’t know and would only be guessing if he attempted to answer. But, being a good dad, he would then get out the dictionary. 🙂

  • Another way to say I don’t know: I am not clued-up. (do you know anything about Britain? I am not clued-up. Is this acceptable?

  • Hi Osim. ‘(Not) clued up’ is a perfectly good expression, and quite a frequent one. However, it is generally used to say that someone knows (or doesn’t know) a lot about a particular subject and we usually specify what it is they know or don’t know about, either before or after the expression. Here are some corpus examples:
    They are some of the most clued up chaps in the wine business.
    The majority of children today are really clued up regarding computers and the internet.
    After leafing through these books and trawling the Internet for pregnancy forums and articles, my wife was pretty much clued up on everything.
    Lots of people are aware of the effect that colour can have on interior decoration. However, people are less clued up about the way texture can do the same.
    The police are not choosing the right ways to go about things because they are not 100 percent clued up about what’s going on in the streets.

  • What about this (from your dictionary — Macmillan!)

    ‘… “you never can tell” or “you can never tell” spoken

    used for saying that it is impossible to be certain about something
    You can never tell how long these meetings will last.’

    Perhaps this is a more up-to-date version of “No one can tell”?