couldn't pour water out of a boot

couldn't pour water out of a boot

colloquial (Someone) is utterly incompetent or stupid; (someone) can't even carry out the simplest of tasks. A shortening of the phrase "couldn't pour water out of a boot if there was instructions on the heel." I'm not surprised that Zack took the train home and left his car in the parking garage at work—he couldn't pour water out of a boot! That fool couldn't pour water out of a boot if there was instructions on the heel! What a dolt!
See also: boot, of, out, pour, water
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

couldn't pour water out of a boot (if there was instructions on the heel)

Rur. stupid. I won't say Jim is dumb, but he couldn't pour water out of a boot. Jane couldn't pour water out of a boot if there was instructions on the heel—and she's the smartest one in her family!
See also: boot, of, out, pour, water
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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