not know beans

(redirected from not know the first thing)

not know beans (about someone or something)

Inf. to know nothing about someone or something. Bill doesn't know beans about flying an airplane. When it comes to flying, I don't know beans.
See also: bean, know, not

not know beans

Also, not know the first thing; not know from nothing. Be ignorant about something, as in a poem published in the Yale Literary Magazine in 1855: "When our recent Tutor is heard to speak, This truth one certainly gleans, Whatever he knows of Euclid and Greek, In Latin he don't know beans." The beans in this colloquial phrase, dating from the early 1800s, signify something small and worthless; not knowing the first thing about something clearly shows one doesn't know anything about it at all; and the third slangy phrase, with its double negative, implies stupidity as well as ignorance, as in Poor girl, just starting out and she doesn't know from nothing.
See also: bean, know, not

not know beans

verb
See also: bean, know, not
References in periodicals archive ?
It could have sent a couple of civil servants for special training if it was unable to find a qualified person for the job in Cyprus, instead of employing a cop that did not know the first thing about running a prison.
It means that Suzuki does not know the first thing about environmental economics.
To be honest, Duncan Fletcher would not know the first thing about playing Test cricket in Australia.
Frankly," the executive said to me, "we do not know the first thing about these applications and how they apply to us.
Up until recently Brett Ratner did not know the first thing about Bollywood movies, but that did not stop the US director being snapped up to helm one.
Unfortunately, many troubled teens who are pregnant or have a baby do not know the first thing about bonding with their child.
I did not know the first thing about dairying but we knew there was a quicker return,' Dai said.
Let those who criticize my campaigning direct their ire at my opponents, who posture and preen but do not know the first thing about legislative craftsmanship or the right to privacy.
Of those without a private pension, 60 per cent confessed that they did not know the first thing about pensions - compared to only 45 per cent nationally and 57 per cent complained about sales people not explaining the Economics Editor details clearly enough.
To be beached is bad if you are a whale [the beach balls boo and blow raspberries] but it is worse if you are a sailor, pestered morning and night by native girls [cheers, whistles] who frequently do not know the first thing about proper dress [catcalls, stomping of feet, showers of confetti; the beach balls cluster around the author and roll him into the sea].
RE Joan Burnie's comments on Danny, left, the Pekinese, who won Best in Show at Crufts - she obviously does not know the first thing about this breed.
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