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Someone who is entirely unimportant, unsuccessful, or without power or influence. He's a nobody at the office; no one even knows he exists.
See also: nobody
it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good
Even the most negative or harmful situations usually benefit someone. Thus a situation that benefits no one must be truly bad (and rare). The rain caused flooding, but it may help the farmers. It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good.
on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog
A phrase that highlights the anonymous nature of online correspondence. It originally appeared in a cartoon by Peter Steiner. A: "I can't say something that mean, even to a stranger." B: "Oh, sure you can! On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."
The lights are on, but nobody's home
A humorous expression used to say that someone is stupid or not paying attention, perhaps because they are not responding to what one is saying. Hello, Pete? Earth to Pete. The lights are on, but nobody's home.
like nobody's business
To an extreme or intense degree. The other team came out and dominated our players like nobody's business.
It's an ill wind that blows nobody (any) good.
Prov. Even misfortune can benefit someone or something.; A calamity for one person usually benefits somebody else. The tremendous hailstorm left gaping holes in most of the roofs in town, so many families were homeless. The roofing companies, however, made plenty of money fixing those holes. It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good.
like crazyand like mad
Fig. furiously; very much, fast, many, or actively. People are coming in here like crazy. There isn't enough room for them all. We sold ice cream like crazy. It was a very hot day.
like nobody's business
Inf. very well; very much. She can sing like nobody's business. What a set of pipes! My mom can cook chocolate chip cookies like nobody's business.
Fig. a sensible and wise person who is not easily deceived. Mary is nobody's fool. She watches out for people who might try to cheat her. Anne may seem as though she's not very bright, but she's nobody's fool.
There's nobody home.
There are no brains in someone's head. There's lots of goodwill in that head, but there's nobody home. What a fool! There's nobody home—that's for sure.
Also, like mad; like nobody's business. With exceeding enthusiasm or speed, without restraint. For example, We shopped like crazy and bought all our furniture in one day, or Once he's out of the town limits he drives like mad, or The choir sang the Hallelujah Chorus like nobody's business. The first terms employ crazy and mad in the sense of "lunatic" as a hyperbole for lack of restraint; the third implies that no business could be conducted in such an extraordinary fashion. The first and third date from the 1920s, the second from the mid-1600s.
1. No one is paying attention, as in She threw the ball right past him, yelling "Nobody home!"
2. The person being discussed is mentally impaired and so cannot understand, as in When the woman did not answer, he concluded it was a case of nobody home. Both usages transfer the absence of someone in a dwelling to absent-mindedness or mental deficiency, and are thought to have been invented by cartoonist and journalist Thomas Aloysius Dorgan ("TAD") around 1900. He often embellished his column with such punning amplifications as "Nobody home but the telephone and that's in the hands of the receiver," or "Nobody home but the oyster and that's in the stew."
A person who cannot be duped or taken advantage of, as in You can't put anything over on Ryan-he's nobody's fool. [Early 1900s]
like nobody's businessINFORMAL
1. If someone or something is doing something like nobody's business, they are doing it very fast, in large amounts or to a great extent. The people with this disease are dying off like nobody's business. I'm enjoying myself like nobody's business.
2. If someone or something does something like nobody's business, they do it very well. He sings like Sinatra, dances like Sammy Davis, plays piano like nobody's business, and lays on the charm like an old pro.
the lights are on but nobody's homeor
the lights are on but no one's homeINFORMAL
If you say of someone that the lights are on but nobody's home, you mean that they are stupid or not reacting to what is happening. When I tell them anything, they look at me like the lights are on but nobody's home.
nobody in their right mindor
no one in their right mind
COMMON If you say nobody in their right mind or no one in their right mind would do a particular thing, you mean that it is a stupid or crazy thing to do. No one in their right mind would go travelling on their own in such a dangerous region. Note: You can also say who in their right mind? with the same meaning. Who in their right mind would give information like that over the phone?
like nobody's businessin no ordinary way; to an extremely intense degree. informal
1991 Elspeth Barker O Caledonia They spread like nobody's business. They're a really pernicious weed.
like ˈnobody’s business(informal) very fast, very much, very hard, etc: He’s been spending money like nobody’s business recently.
be ˌno/ˌnobody’s ˈfoolbe a clever person who cannot easily be tricked or cheated by anyone: You won’t be able to cheat her — she’s nobody’s fool. ♢ Don’t underestimate him. He’s no fool.
the lights are ˈon but nobody’s ˈhome(saying, humorous) used to describe somebody who is stupid, not thinking clearly or not paying attention: Don’t try discussing anything intelligent with Alice. The lights are on but nobody’s home, I’m afraid.
like crazyand like mad
mod. furiously; very much, fast, many, or actively. Look at those people on the bank. They’re catching fish like mad! I’m running like mad and still can’t catch up.
like nobody’s business
mod. very well; very much; very fast. She can sing like nobody’s business. What a set of pipes!
n. an insignificant person. (Compare this with somebody.) Don’t pay any attention to him. He’s just a nobody.
See also: nobody
There’s nobody home
sent. There are no brains in someone’s head. You twit! There’s nobody home—that’s for sure.
To an exceeding degree: They were running around like crazy.