wasn


Also found in: Acronyms.

not much cop

Not very good; not noteworthy or exceptional at all. Primarily heard in UK. I was really looking forward to the film, but it was not much cop, I'm afraid. I just wasn't much cop as an accountant, so I packed up my career and spent a year travelling abroad.
See also: cop, much, not

not playing with a full deck

1. Not mentally sound; crazy or mentally deranged. A: "Look at that guy talking to himself on the corner." B: "I reckon he's not playing with a full deck."
2. Not very bright or intelligent; dimwitted. Jim's a nice guy, but with some of the foolish things he does, I wonder if he's not playing with a full deck.
See also: deck, full, not, play

be not the done thing

Of a given behavior, to be unacceptable, inappropriate, or incorrect in a particular social situation. Primarily heard in UK. You should know better than to wear a skirt like that to a formal dinner; it is simply not the done thing! I'm so glad smoking indoors is not the done thing anymore!
See also: done, not, thing

not up to snuff

Not as good as what was expected, required, or demanded; not satisfactory or adequate. Jim, I know you've been going through a tough time since your wife passed, but these reports just aren't up to snuff. I used to eat there all the time, but to be honest, their food hasn't been up to snuff recently.
See also: not, snuff, up

be not worth a brass farthing

To be completely worthless or useless; to have little or no value. Refers to farthings (obsolete British units of currency, worth one-quarter of a penny), formerly made from a copper alloy (brass). Primarily heard in UK. I was so excited when my grandfather said he'd give me his car, but this old clunker isn't worth a brass farthing. Over the years working here, I've come to realize that the boss's word isn't worth a brass farthing.
See also: brass, farthing, not, worth

be not worth a plug nickel

obsolete To be completely worthless or useless; to have little or no value. (A variant of "not worth a plugged nickel.") Refers to coins (not only nickels) that were "plugged"—that is, those that had a hole drilled in their center and were filled with cheaper metals—which made the coins illegitimate and worthless if spotted. Primarily heard in US. I was so excited when my grandpa said he'd give me his car, but this old clunker isn't worth a plug nickel. Over the years working here I've come to realize that the boss's promises aren't worth a plug nickel.
See also: nickel, not, plug, worth

not worth writing home about

To be not especially remarkable or noteworthy; to be rather dull, mediocre, uninteresting, or unimportant. A variant of the more common phrase "nothing to write home about." A: "Have you eaten in that new sushi restaurant yet?" B: "Yeah, I went there last week. It was OK, but it isn't worth writing home about." His performance hasn't been worth writing home about so far. To be honest, we were expecting much more from him when we recruited him out of Dartmouth.
See also: home, not, worth, writing

not anything to write home about

To be not especially remarkable or noteworthy; to be rather dull, mediocre, uninteresting, or unimportant. A variant of the more common phrase "nothing to write home about." A: "Have you eaten in that new sushi restaurant yet?" B: "Yeah, I went there last week. It was OK, but it isn't anything to write home about." His performance hasn't been anything to write home about so far. To be honest, we were expecting much more from him when we recruited him out of Dartmouth.
See also: anything, home, not, write

not something to write home about

To be not especially remarkable or noteworthy; to be rather dull, mediocre, uninteresting, or unimportant. A variant of the more common phrase "nothing to write home about." A: "Have you eaten in that new sushi restaurant yet?" B: "Yeah, I went there last week. It was OK, but it isn't something to write home about." His performance hasn't been something to write home about so far. To be honest, we were expecting much more from him when we recruited him out of Dartmouth.
See also: home, not, something, write

be not rocket science

To not be a pursuit, activity, or endeavor that requires extraordinary skill or intelligence. Look, all you need to do is reformat the hard drive on your computer. It isn't rocket science! Sure, it took a little bit of time to figure out, but reinstalling the modem wasn't rocket science or anything.
See also: not, rocket, science

not up to scratch

Not acceptable or satisfactory; not attaining a particular standard. Your papers have been very good, but, frankly, this one is not up to scratch.
See also: not, scratch, up

not sleep a wink

To not get any sleep. Our newborn son is rather colicky, so my wife and I haven't slept a wink the last few nights.
See also: not, sleep, wink

be not worth a fig

To be unimportant or insignificant. I know you're upset that the decor wasn't exactly as you designed it, but that's not worth a fig when you consider how spectacular the gala was overall.
See also: fig, not, worth

I wasn't born yesterday

I am not extremely naïve, gullible, or unintelligent. When one is referred to as "born yesterday," they are being likened to a newborn baby, who has no experience with the world. Don't think you can fool me with that old ruse. I wasn't born yesterday, you know. Of course I know that major political issues can't be fixed overnight. I wasn't born yesterday.
See also: born, yesterday

there wasn't a dry eye in the house

Everyone in attendance was crying. The term is typically used literally, but with exaggeration—some people may have been crying in the situation described, but usually not literally everyone. His final monologue was simply heartbreaking. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
See also: dry, eye, house, there

Rome wasn't built in a day

Major undertakings are not completed all at once. A: "I've been working on my thesis all day and only wrote three pages." B: "Well, Rome wasn't built in a day."
See also: built, Rome

not about to

Not going to (do something), typically because of unwillingness. I'm not about to work on this after hours if the deadline isn't until next month. Jane wasn't about to pay all that extra money just to get a different color.
See also: not

(one's) heart isn't in it

One is not emotionally invested in something. I used to love running, but my heart just isn't in it anymore—that's why I quit the track team this year.
See also: heart

I wasn't brought up in the woods to be scared by owls.

Rur. I am not foolish or easily frightened. His threats don't scare me. I wasn't brought up in the woods to be scared by owls. Mary: You'll be sorry you ever crossed me. Jane: I wasn't brought up in the woods to be scared by owls.
See also: brought, owl, scare, up, wood

not born yesterday

Fig. experienced; knowledgeable in the ways of the world. I know what's going on. I wasn't born yesterday. Sally knows the score. She wasn't born yesterday.
See also: born, not, yesterday

not sleep a wink

not to sleep at all. I couldn't sleep a wink last night. Ann hasn't been able to sleep a wink for a week.
See also: not, sleep, wink

not born yesterday

More experienced and less naive than one appears to be, as in Don't think you can fool me; I wasn't born yesterday. This term gained currency from the title of Garson Kanin's popular Broadway play, Born Yesterday, which was made into an even more popular film. In both, Judy Holliday played a stereotypical dumb blonde who shows more common sense than her sophisticated acquaintances. [Early 1800s]
See also: born, not, yesterday

Rome wasn't built in a day

Important work takes time. This expression functions as an injunction or plea for someone to be patient. For example, You can't expect her to finish this project in the time allotted; Rome wasn't built in a day . This phrase was a French proverb in the late 1100s but was not recorded in English until 1545.
See also: built, Rome

not much cop

BRITISH, INFORMAL
If someone or something is not much cop, they are of poor quality or not good at something. I gather her latest album isn't much cop. Just as he lacks any genuine talent for public speaking, so he's not much cop as a writer, either. Note: In early twentieth century slang, `cop' meant `value' or `use'.
See also: cop, much, not

not up to scratch

COMMON If something or someone is not up to scratch, they are not good enough. If the service isn't up to scratch, the customer gets his money back. Athletes have no one to blame but themselves if their performances are not up to scratch. Parents were complaining that one of the teachers wasn't up to scratch. Note: You can say that someone or something does not come up to scratch. The Home Secretary wants better methods for dealing with police officers who do not come up to scratch. Note: You can also say that you bring someone or something up to scratch. We had to work hard on the apartment to bring it up to scratch. Note: In the past, boxers started a fight with their left feet on a line drawn on the ground, known as the scratch. When a boxer was knocked down, they were allowed thirty seconds' rest before coming `up to the scratch' once more. A boxer who was not at the line in time lost the fight.
See also: not, scratch, up

not sleep a wink

If you do not sleep a wink, you do not sleep at all although you try hard to. This was my first Grand Prix win of the season and I was so excited I couldn't sleep a wink that night. Note: You can also say that you do not get a wink of sleep with the same meaning. The hotel was so noisy, I didn't get a wink of sleep.
See also: not, sleep, wink

not born yesterday

If you say that someone wasn't born yesterday you mean that they have enough experience to not be easily tricked. Listen, I wasn't born yesterday. This looks like a work of fiction to me. Note: This expression is often varied. For instance, you can say that someone must think you were born yesterday if they treat you as if you are stupid. They must think I was born yesterday if they think I'd fall for a trick like that.
See also: born, not, yesterday

I wasn't born yesterday

used to indicate that you are not foolish or gullible.
See also: born, yesterday

not much cop

not very good. British informal
Cop is used here in the sense of ‘an acquisition’.
1998 Spectator Suddenly everyone has noticed that the rest of her album…isn't actually much cop after all.
See also: cop, much, not

not playing with a full deck

mentally deficient. North American informal
A deck in this phrase is a pack of playing cards.
See also: deck, full, not, play

there wasn't a dry eye in the house

everyone in the audience of a film, play, speech, etc. was moved to tears.
See also: dry, eye, house, there

not sleep (or get) a wink (or not get a wink of sleep)

not sleep at all.
See also: not, sleep, wink

I wasn’t born ˈyesterday

(spoken) used to say that you are not stupid enough to believe what somebody is telling you: You don’t expect me to believe that, do you? I wasn’t born yesterday, you know.
See also: born, yesterday

not much ˈcop

(British English, slang) not very good: ‘What do you think of the book?’ ‘It’s not much cop, really.’
See also: cop, much, not

if it wasn’t/weren’t for...

used to say that somebody/something stopped somebody/something from happening: If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t even be here today.
See also: if

Rome wasn’t built in a ˈday

(saying) it takes time, patience, and hard work to do a difficult or important job: She asked me why the report wasn’t finished yet so I reminded her that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
See also: built, Rome

not sleep a ˈwink

,

not get a ˈwink of sleep

not sleep at all: I didn’t sleep a wink last night because I was worrying about my driving test.
See also: not, sleep, wink