couldn't help it

(I) couldn't help it.

There was no way I could prevent it.; I was unable to prevent something from happening.; I was unable to control myself. Sally: You let the paint dry with brush marks in it. Mary: I couldn't help it. The telephone rang. Fred: You got fingerprints all over the window. Mary: Sorry. Couldn't help it.
See also: help
References in classic literature ?
I couldn't help it -- I couldn't help it," Potter moaned.
I endeavoured to soothe her with such words as seemed fitting; and as she was crying because she really couldn't help it, she didn't cry long.
I couldn't help it, 'shirred biases' were so very funny
and cried because no one was ever so good to me before, and I couldn't help it.
Do I see anything in the way I'm made, which calls upon me to be a snivelling, solemn, whispering chap, sneaking about as if I couldn't help it, and expressing myself in a most unpleasant snuffle?
Yes, but I forgot--and I couldn't help it, indeed, Tom.
And the chances are that they have been good boys and girls for some time, because they couldn't help it.
Yer know, Work'us,' continued Noah, emboldened by Oliver's silence, and speaking in a jeering tone of affected pity: of all tones the most annoying: 'Yer know, Work'us, it can't be helped now; and of course yer couldn't help it then; and I am very sorry for it; and I'm sure we all are, and pity yer very much.
Lord bless you, Mas'r, I couldn't help it now," said Sam, giving way to the long pent-up delight of his soul.
Weller; 'I didn't mean to do it, only I got so enlivened with the ride that I couldn't help it.
I couldn't help it,' said Five, in a sulky tone; `Seven jogged my elbow.
One black ox, with a white cravat on - who even had to my awakened conscience something of a clerical air - fixed me so obstinately with his eyes, and moved his blunt head round in such an accusatory manner as I moved round, that I blubbered out to him, "I couldn't help it, sir
Heaven knows, I cannot find it in my heart to blame you, but this much I will say, be it kind or unkind: when Captain Smollett was well, you dared not have gone off; and when he was ill and couldn't help it, by George, it was downright cowardly
Dorothy laughed, for she couldn't help it, although all the others were solemn enough.
I suppose you think I have an awful temper, but I couldn't help it.
Full browser ?