nobody home


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there's nobody home

Said of someone whom one thinks is dimwitted or mentally impaired. I've been trying to get information from him for half an hour, but there's nobody home as far as I can tell. She's sweet and very attractive, but there's nobody home when you try to discuss any serious topic.
See also: home, nobody

nobody home

1. No one is paying attention, as in She threw the ball right past him, yelling "Nobody home!"
2. The person being discussed is mentally impaired and so cannot understand, as in When the woman did not answer, he concluded it was a case of nobody home. Both usages transfer the absence of someone in a dwelling to absent-mindedness or mental deficiency, and are thought to have been invented by cartoonist and journalist Thomas Aloysius Dorgan ("TAD") around 1900. He often embellished his column with such punning amplifications as "Nobody home but the telephone and that's in the hands of the receiver," or "Nobody home but the oyster and that's in the stew."
See also: home, nobody
References in periodicals archive ?
Lights on, nobody home. If you come back, "Oh, there I am again.'' All of a sudden, you're looking at yourself, like, "Where am I now?
'A little girl and her dog?' 'No, it's a puppet!' The lights are on but there's nobody home.
"In the summer, when there was nobody home to babysit me, I would get up with my dad at two in the morning.
"When she got to the house, it seemed there was nobody home because it was all locked up," he said.
After an energetic rendition of "Hey, Ho, Nobody Home," she clapped her hands.
The second half resumed with the band hidden behind the bricks, Waters eventually appearing front of stage and then, for Nobody Home, in a mini living room set that cleverly descended out of the wall.
This can take a period of time before causing a fire when there is nobody home to detect and extinguish it.
"Never Been a Bad Girl" is a cheeky, cabaret-style jazz number (the video for which features New York City's Lower East Side queer scene star Murray Hill),"Carolina" is a bouncy bluegrass cut, "Failed Waitress/Failed Astronaut" is languid Dixieland jazz and "Nobody Home to Sing the Blues," is, well, the blues.
The lights are on but there's nobody home: If you're not using a room, switch off all electrical appliances, including lights, when you leave.
Luckily there was nobody home when the fire started.
Singing "Hey ho, nobody home, meat nor drink nor money have I none ..." we filed into the room repeating the round over and over, until every girl stood in place behind one of the grey benches.
NOBODY HOME: One of four huge film studios built at the Valleywood site in Llanilid near Bridgend PICTURE: Patrick Olner
But by then six of Minot's seven radio stations were owned by Clear Channel, and when the police called those stations there was nobody home.
There had been a dream start for Newport when in the second minute Nathan Williams collected a Jamie Davies kick and found nobody home in the Aberavon defence as he sent Craig Hill in for a try that James Dixon converted.
The house was clearly being lived in, but a knock on the door revealed that there was nobody home, or at least nobody willing to admit they were home.