ifs, ands, or buts

ifs, ands, or buts

Reservations or restrictions; excuses. This expression actually mingles two older ones, ifs and ands with but me no buts. The first, dating from the sixteenth century, was more or less the equivalent of wishful thinking, and its most famous version is Charles Kingsley’s rhyme of 1850: “If ifs and ans were pots and pans, there’d be no trade for tinkers.” Almost as old is “but me no buts,” meaning make no objections or excuses, which according to Eric Partridge was popularized by Sir Walter Scott’s use of it in The Antiquary (1816). The current cliché is most often used as a negative imperative, as in, “I want this done by tomorrow, and no ifs, ands, or buts.”
See also: but
References in periodicals archive ?
The what ifs, ands, or buts are holding back these young people.
How can one not be transformed after working in a setting with resources that are far from adequate, books that do not invite learning, classrooms that are cramped and overcrowded, students who are tired and hungry, and underachievers who have been automatically promoted to the next grade with no ifs, ands, or buts? Yes, public education is a true hardship post.
A light box installed on the Rockbund Art Museum's exterior, featuring the neon text one thousand and one nights in Arabic, English, and Chinese (all works 2016), serves as a prelude to Heman Chong's exhibition "Ifs, Ands, or Buts." Prior to entering the museum, the viewer may also notice a disclaimer written on a nearby billboard: the story, ALL NAMES, CHARACTERS AND INCIDENTS PORTRAYED IN THIS EXHIBITION are fictitious.
Remember, there are no ifs, ands, or buts about this minimum GPM required.
"Duane runs the show, no ifs, ands, or buts," Panos told the
If you determine that number is three hours, then when three hours expire, you should be on final--no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
No ifs, ands, or buts about it, aquatics staff need to be working out in the water!
For instance, another factor that sold LeFaivre on his current supplier was that company's "clear-cut, lifetime warranty--no ifs, ands, or buts replacement." He combines it with a warranty, offered by the product's distributor, on glass breakage.
"Heinlein was a kind of socialist, no ifs, ands, or buts about it, during the period that he wrote For Us, the Living," Silver says.
Nevertheless, it took only about two minutes of listening to realize that here was something special, an unqualified recommendation with no ifs, ands, or buts. The interpretation is, to say the least, highly idiosyncratic, and it may not appeal to everyone grown accustomed to a more traditional approach.
He does not qualify his statement in any way--no ifs, ands, or buts. He just lets them have it: Nineveh is going to be destroyed and he's glad.
In a book of over 200 pages, all aspects of her career are explored at length but what the entire case boils down to is really quite simple: an unwed girl who becomes pregnant, by her confessor's scribe no less, cannot possibly be a true prophet -- no ifs, ands, or buts. The hide-and-seek approach to history found in the dust jacket characterizes the prose sections of the book as well.
No ifs, ands, or buts, or anything else in between.
No question--no ifs, ands, or buts. In the early 1970s, all my friends and I looked around and thought that the law would get changed.