nobody


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a nobody

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

no one in his/her/their right mind would (do something)

No one who is sane would consider doing something; someone would have to be crazy to do something. (In this case, "their" is used as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun.) All I'm saying is that no one in their right mind would ask the boss for a raise with the economy the way it is right now. Everyone knows Jake is a mess—no one in her right mind would date him.
See also: mind, no, one, right

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.
See also: any, blow, good, ill, nobody, that, wind

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."
See also: dog, know, nobody, on

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.
See also: but, home, lights

like nobody's business

To an extreme or intense degree. The other team came out and dominated our players like nobody's business.
See also: business, like

like crazy

With great intensity or speed. Ugh, these mosquito bites are itching like crazy! Now that there's the threat of a snowstorm, shoppers have been buying shovels and salt like crazy.
See also: crazy, like

there's nobody home

Said of someone whom one thinks is dimwitted or mentally impaired. I've been trying to get information from him for half an hour, but there's nobody home as far as I can tell. She's sweet and very attractive, but there's nobody home when you try to discuss any serious topic.
See also: home, nobody

nobody's fool

Someone who cannot easily be fooled, swindled, or taken advantage of. He tried to convince her to sign up for the expensive upgrade, but my mother is nobody's fool, and she could tell straight away that it was a scam. He may look a bit simple with his big round eyes and boyish features, but John is nobody's fool.
See also: fool

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.
See also: blow, good, ill, nobody, that, wind

like crazy

 and 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.
See also: crazy, like

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.
See also: business, like

nobody's fool

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.
See also: 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.
See also: home, nobody

like crazy

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.
See also: crazy, like

nobody home

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."
See also: home, nobody

nobody's fool

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]
See also: fool

like nobody's business

INFORMAL
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.
See also: business, like

the lights are on but nobody's home

or

the lights are on but no one's home

INFORMAL
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.
See also: but, home, lights, on

nobody in their right mind

or

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?
See also: mind, nobody, right

like nobody's business

in 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.
See also: business, like

like ˈnobody’s business

(informal) very fast, very much, very hard, etc: He’s been spending money like nobody’s business recently.
See also: business, like

be ˌno/ˌnobody’s ˈfool

be 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.
See also: fool, no

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.
See also: but, home, lights, on

like crazy

and 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.
See also: crazy, like

like nobody’s business

mod. very well; very much; very fast. She can sing like nobody’s business. What a set of pipes!
See also: business, like

a nobody

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.
See also: home, nobody

like crazy

Informal
To an exceeding degree: They were running around like crazy.
See also: crazy, like
References in periodicals archive ?
While we may never know if a party of aristocratic women did actively protest Nobody, the play's send up of female gamesters almost certainly did not aid its reception.
In spite of what the newspaper said, Nobody really was out of work, and he had to face real problems.
It was beautiful; while all the under-paid big wigs in "the biz" tried desperately to keep their heads screwed on properly so they wouldn't get in trouble with all the over-paid bigger wigs, who were slurping down free booze and sealing faux deals with their faux friends, all the punkers were at ThrasheFs party where the beer was eight bucks but nobody was old enough to drink anyway.
That generosity of spirit is what THERE were four people called Everybody, Somebody, Nobody and Anybody.
Filmmaker Mon oncle Antoine Jesus de Montreal Leolo The Sweet Hereafter Spider Le Chat dans le sac Les Ordres Black Christmas Nobody Waved Good-Bye Skip Tracer
The company was on the auction block but nobody dared to touch it, not even LAN, whose CEO, Enrique Cueto, Mata claims had been anxious to break into the domestic Argentine market.
Without an institution backing him, he was a Nobody.
Nobody is going to break Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played.
Given the pro-development bias of Chile's government, nobody expects change to come from within.
Plus, nobody wants to talk to someone who looks uncomfortable or, worse, disinterested.
The book is completed with chapters centered on Shakespeare's Timon of Athens, Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, and the anonymous Nobody and Somebody.
Our family was descended from house slaves--although nobody ever admitted our slave past until a cousin seeking roots dug up the dirt.
And yet, if we don't work on improving jukebox attachment now, or if we cut back on the R&D it takes to do that, nobody will sell anything.
What nobody seemed to notice, however, was that Tinseltown had once again tipped its cap to patriarchy by selecting a relatively shallow "boy flick" over three stories about strong women (Chocolat, Erin Brokovich, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).
Nobody, but nobody, could cop attitude like Clyfford Still (1904-80): "I held it imperative to evolve an instrument of thought which would aid in cutting through all cultural opiates, past and present, so that a direct, immediate, and truly free vision could be achieved.