a dusty answer

a dusty answer

or

a dusty reply

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you ask for something or suggest something and you get a dusty answer or a dusty reply, you receive an unpleasant and negative answer. He asked three times to speak to the king, but each time received a dusty answer. Ask a world-class sportsman to spend several hours testing your product and you are likely to receive a dusty reply.
See also: answer, dusty

a dusty answer

a curt and unhelpful reply. British
The source of this expression is probably a passage in George Meredith's Modern Love ( 1862 ): ‘Ah, what a dusty answer gets the soul when hot for certainties in this our life!’
See also: answer, dusty

a dusty ˈanswer

(old-fashioned, British English) an unhelpful or a sharp response to a request or question: When I asked the company what their policy was on this matter, I received a very dusty answer.
See also: answer, dusty