the time of day
the time of day
1. Literally, the specific hour of the day. What an odd time of day to send repairmen over—we were just about to get ready for bed!
2. Time spent chatting or socializing. Used with the verb "pass." I love walking down to the local shop and passing the time of day with everyone in the neighborhood along the way.
3. Basic intelligence or knowledge. Used with negative constructions of the verb "know." We paid for her to attend the best university in the state, but three years in, she still doesn't know the time of day. How can you expect me to respect my boss when he doesn't even know the time of day?
4. Pleasant, friendly recognition or attention. Used in negative constructions, as in "won't give (one) the time of day." My colleagues wouldn't give me the time of day after they found out that my father had influenced the company's decision to hire me. Once he found such huge success, Tom won't give any of his old friends the time of day. That guy didn't give me the time of day back in high school, and now he won't stop calling me.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
time of day
The hour shown on a clock; also, a stage in any activity or period. For example, What time of day is the repairman coming? or This is hardly the time of day to ask for another installment when he's just turned one in . [Late 1500s] Also see not give someone the time of day.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.