the lights are on but nobody's home
the lights are on, but nobody's home
A humorous expression used to say that someone is stupid, unthinking, or inattentive. Hello, Pete? Earth to Pete. He must be daydreaming again—the lights are on, but no one's home. I kept asking the suspect questions about what happened, and they just kept staring at me blankly. The lights are on, but no one's home, you know what I mean?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017