can't make heads or tails of

can't make heads or tails (out) of (someone or something)

Cannot understand someone or something at all; cannot make any sense of someone or something. I've been working with the new software for hours, but I still can't make heads or tails out of it. I can't make heads or tails of that new guy in accounting. Sometimes, he's really friendly, and then other times he acts like he's never met me before.
See also: head, make, of, tail

can't make heads or tails (out) of someone or something

Fig. [to be] unable to understand someone or something. (Also with cannot.) John is so strange. I can't make heads or tails of him. Do this report again. I can't make heads or tails out of it.
See also: head, make, of, tail
References in periodicals archive ?
Biologists can't make heads or tails of its spawning habits, which adds to the mystique of the fish and the bane of the angler.
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