not worth the paper it's written on


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not worth the paper it's written on

 and not worth the paper it's printed on
Fig. [of a document] meaningless or without authority; of no value. That contract isn't worth the paper it's written on. All the signatures are forged. Don't take a check from that guy. It's not worth the paper it's written on.
See also: not, on, paper, worth, written

not worth the paper it's written on

If something such as an agreement, promise or qualification is not worth the paper it's written on, it has no value, even if it seems official and definite. Many employers say that today's qualifications are not worth the paper they're written on. Note: Printed is sometimes used instead of written. The certificate is not worth the paper it's printed on.
See also: not, on, paper, worth, written

not worth the paper it’s ˈprinted/ˈwritten on

(of a written agreement, document, report, etc.) not having any value, especially legally, or because the person involved does not intend to do what they say they will: The promises in this letter aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.
See also: not, on, paper, print, worth, written