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it's all Greek to me

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it’s all Greek to me

  1. (idiomatic) I don’t understand any of it; it makes no sense.
    • I tried reading the instructions, but it’s all Greek to me.


1599 1694 1844 1849 1904 1907 1927
ME: [[{{{enm}}}]] « 15th c. 16th c. 17th c. 18th c. 19th c. 20th c. 21st c.
  • 1599William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, i 2
    but those that understood him smiled at one another and
    shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me.
  • 1694François Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel, book V; translated by Pierre Motteux, 1694 (original French edition 1564)
    During the processions they trilled and quavered most melodiously betwixt their teeth I do not know what antiphones, or chantings, by turns. For my part, ’twas all Hebrew-Greek to me, the devil a word I could pick out on’t;
  • 1844Frederick Marryat, The Settlers in Canada
    "Well," said Alfred, "it may be a letter, but I confess it is all Greek to me.
  • 1849Herman Melville, Redburn. His First Voyage, ch VI
    I ran after him, and received an order to go aloft and “slush down the main-top mast.” This was all Greek to me, and after receiving the order, I stood staring about me, wondering what it was that was to be done.
  • 1904George M. Fenn, The Ocean Cat’s Paw
    "Look here, Mr. Count," he said; "I am only a rough Englishman, and a lot of what you have been saying about mission and that sort of thing is just so much Greek to me."
  • 1907H. G. Wells, The War in the Air
    "It’s more like some firm’s paper. All this printed stuff at the top. Drachenflieger. Drachenballons. Ballonstoffe. Kugelballons. Greek to me."
  • 1927-1929Mahatma Gandhi, An Autobiography or The Story of my Experiments with Truth, Part II (VIII), translated 1940 by Mahadev Desai
    A Parsi lawyer was examining a witness and asking him question regarding credit and debit entries in account books. It was all Greek to me.


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