can't punch (one's) way out of a paper bag

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can't punch (one's) way out of a paper bag

Extremely weak, ineffectual, or incompetent. You want to fight me? You can't punch your way out of a paper bag! Don't assign that project to her, she couldn't punch her way out of a paper bag!
See also: bag, of, out, paper, punch, way
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

can't punch one's way out of a paper bag

Be inept, as in Ask him to program the VCR? He can't punch his way out of a paper bag. This hyperbolic term for extreme ineptitude originally was an expression of contempt for a weak or cowardly boxer. [Slang; c. 1910]
See also: bag, of, out, paper, punch, way
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.
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