a dusty answer
a dusty answeror
a dusty replyBRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you ask for something or suggest something and you get a dusty answer or a dusty reply, you receive an unpleasant and negative answer. He asked three times to speak to the king, but each time received a dusty answer. Ask a world-class sportsman to spend several hours testing your product and you are likely to receive a dusty reply.
a dusty answera curt and unhelpful reply. British
The source of this expression is probably a passage in George Meredith's Modern Love ( 1862 ): ‘Ah, what a dusty answer gets the soul when hot for certainties in this our life!’