How long is a piece of string?

How long is a piece of string?

A set phrase used to avoid responding to questions requesting an estimate of the size, amount, or duration of something. The phrase is used to indicate that the speaker does not know or does not want to guess. A: "How much time will we need to devote to renovation?" B: "How long is a piece of string?"
See also: how, long, of, piece

how long is a piece of string?

When people say How long is a piece of string? they mean that they are not able to guess the length, size or amount of something. Asked how long it might take to fix, he said: `How long is a piece of string?' Mary Ross is convinced the health food market is huge, but is not sure just how big. `How long is a piece of string?' she said.
See also: how, long, of, piece

how long is a piece of string?

used as a rejoinder to indicate that it is unreasonable for someone to expect the speaker to be more precise about something. informal
See also: how, long, of, piece

how long is a piece of ˈstring?

(British English, spoken) used to say that there is no definite answer to a question: ‘How long will it take?’ ‘How long’s a piece of string?’
See also: how, long, of, piece
Full browser ?