there's nobody home

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

There's nobody home.

There are no brains in someone's head. There's lots of goodwill in that head, but there's nobody home. What a fool! There's nobody home—that's for sure.
See also: home, nobody
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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.

There’s nobody home

sent. There are no brains in someone’s head. You twit! There’s nobody home—that’s for sure.
See also: home, nobody
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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And if the contrast between near-perfection against South Africa at The Oval to this soup sandwich four days later doesn't ring any alarm bells in the England think tank, there's nobody home in the belfry.
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We used to say about folk acting daft: "The lights are on but there's nobody home."
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He remarked about one ballplayer who committed an obvious mental mistake, "His light is on, but there's nobody home.' Of another he said irreverently, "His elevator doesn't go all the way to the top.'
If you can't hear the alarm bells ringing in Brighton, there's nobody home in the belfry.
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