nobody home


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nobody home

1. No one is paying attention, as in She threw the ball right past him, yelling "Nobody home!"
2. The person being discussed is mentally impaired and so cannot understand, as in When the woman did not answer, he concluded it was a case of nobody home. Both usages transfer the absence of someone in a dwelling to absent-mindedness or mental deficiency, and are thought to have been invented by cartoonist and journalist Thomas Aloysius Dorgan ("TAD") around 1900. He often embellished his column with such punning amplifications as "Nobody home but the telephone and that's in the hands of the receiver," or "Nobody home but the oyster and that's in the stew."
See also: home, nobody
References in periodicals archive ?
A source said: "The lights were on but there was nobody home.
They gingerly approached the first front doors - slender and personable women, one in jeans and the other in overalls - but they found nobody home.
The top 10 from Liverpool HMV this week is: 1 Room On The Third Floor -- McFly 2 I'll Stand By You -- Girls Aloud 3 What You Waiting For -- Gwen Stefani 4 Jolene -- White Stripes 5 If There's Any Justice -- Lemar 6 So What Could I Do -- Cranebuilders 7 Ashes -- Embrace 8 Interstate Five -- Wedding Present 9 Thinking of You -- Paul Weller (pictured below) 10 Nobody Home -- Avril Lavigne Win a chart album of your choice by telling me the name of Embrace's lead singer.
However, Tate, 62, who was known for a fiery, pleading stage act and a string of r&b hits, including ``Stop,'' ``Look at Granny Run Run'' and ``Ain't Nobody Home,'' wasn't built to withstand a relentless touring schedule, unscrupulous promoters and nearly nonexistent royalty payments.
Earlier, the Navy had realized it erred in reporting the sailor's death and sent a telegram, but a boy delivering the message had found nobody home and discarded it.
Nobody home, small alarm coming from kitchen, it may be a timer.
When there was nobody home they attacked an apparently innocent and random passer-by.
Known for: A string of '60s soul classics, including ``Stop,'' ``Look at Granny Run Run,'' ``Get It While You Can'' and ``Ain't Nobody Home.
STORMONT'S lights may be turned off to save the planet - but many say there's nobody home anyway.
The King/Lucille team also crafted definitive renditions of songs by other people, claiming as their own "The Thrill Is Gone," "How Blue Can You Get," "Hummingbird" and "Ain't Nobody Home.
By looking across the desk at somebody's mother or sister, and finding nobody home inside.
There was nobody home at the 43-year-old mother's third-floor flat in Sillogue Avenue yesterday afternoon.