don't ask


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don't ask

A phrase said when one doesn't want someone to inquire about something. A: "Whoa, what happened in here?" B: "Ugh, don't ask."
See also: ask
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

don't ask

A phrase used to fend off questions about a situation one finds awkward, unpleasant, or unsatisfactory. For example, How did we do in the bridge tournament? Don't ask! [Colloquial; 1960s] For a similar phrase, see forget it.
See also: ask
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ˌdon’t ˈask

(spoken, informal) if you say don’t ask to somebody, you mean that you do not want to reply to their question, because it would be awkward, embarrassing, etc: ‘How was your trip?’ ‘Don’t ask! It was a disaster!’
See also: ask
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

Don’t ask

sent. The answer is so depressing, you don’t even want to hear it. This has been a horrible day. How horrible, you say? Don’t ask.
See also: ask
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

don't ask

You don’t want to hear bad news, a long story, or something unpleasant or embarrassing. This slangy phrase, used since the 1960s and only in conversation, may be a response to a direct question, such as “How did you do on the exam?” or used to impart information, as in “Ask me how much we have left in the bank.”—“How much?”—“Don’t ask.” It differs from don’t ask me, said with the emphasis on me, which is a casual and somewhat impolite reply that means “I don’t know” (as in “‘When does the restaurant open?’— ‘Don’t ask me.’” A newer variation is don’t ask, don’t tell, which in the early 1990s began to designate a policy on homosexuality adopted by the U.S. military in 1994. Under this policy, personnel are not asked about their sexual orientation, and homosexuals are allowed to serve provided they do not openly reveal their orientation. This usage quickly spread to other contexts, as in “Our veterinarian has a “ ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ ” policy about what happens to pets who must be put away.” Another variant is don’t go there, an indication that someone should avoid a topic. For example, in a congressional hearing about the war in Iraq, a representative interviewing Colin Powell suggested his war record was better than that of a president who may have been AWOL, whereupon Powell replied, “Let’s not go there in this hearing” (cited by Leslie Savan in her slang dictionary).
See also: ask
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
"If you don't ask questions you will learn nothing.
will venture on delicate ground, madam, don't ask me to accompany you."
"I don't ask that," pleaded Jekyll, laying his hand upon the other's arm; "I only ask for justice; I only ask you to help him for my sake, when I am no longer here."
I don't ask for your love--I will be content with your affection and regard.
"Don't ask me to play Nibs with you again," he said to Philip.
I want to ask you a question.' Affery immediately replied, 'For goodness sake don't ask me nothing, Arthur!
I'm willing to be your financial manager, Tom Swift, but please don't ask me to be a high-brow.
Tom groaned out: "Oh, I don't know; don't ask me such awful questions."
"Please take it," says I, "and don't ask me noth- ing -- then I won't have to tell no lies."
I don't ask you whether she is handsome or no; perhaps she is not; that's nothing to the purpose; but do you know of any lady?" "La, madam," cries Honour, "you will make a very bad examiner.
'No matter what it means, don't ask, don't speak, don't think about it.
Cheese, Kenny, Ducky (DON'T ASK), Meemo (AGAIN, DON'T ASK), Penzie (Seriously, just don't ask about any of these), and Meemo-Penzie.
Don't ask: "Do you have any mental or physical disabilities?" Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you can't ask about health, mental or physical disabilities, or drug and alcohol addictions.
“Military service, gay identity, and the intersection of those worlds are at the center of my young adult novel 'Don't Ask.'”