not for the life of me


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not for the life of (one)

One is/was completely unable (to do something), not matter how much energy one put forth. The lid off this jar won't come off for the life of me. Will you try? He had just met that woman yesterday, but he couldn't for the life of him remember her name.
See also: life, not, of

not for the life of me

No matter how hard I try. Used when one is totally unable to do something. I just met that woman yesterday, but not for the life of me can I remember her name. The lid of this jar won't come off for the life of me. Will you try?
See also: life, not, of