Also found in: Acronyms.
(it) beats me
slang A response when one does not know the answer to a question. A: "How long has this milk been in the fridge?" B: "Beats me. Check the expiration date." When's Ali's birthday? Beats me! It beats me—I have no idea how to get to the mall from here.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
(It) beats me.and (It's) got me beat.; You got me beat.
Inf. I do not know the answer.; I cannot figure it out. The question has me stumped. (The stress is on me.) Bill: When are we supposed to go over to Tom's? Bill: Beats me. Sally: What's the largest river in the world? Bob: You got me beat.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
This baffles or puzzles me, as in I don't know how he does it-beats me! This term originally may have alluded to a winning poker hand. It may also be related to the even earlier usage of beat for "astonished" or "at a loss." [Slang; mid-1800s]
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.
tv. [the answer is] not known to me. (The emphasis is on me.) I don’t know the answer. Beats me!
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.