wet behind the ears


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.

wet behind the ears

Inexperienced, often because one is young. You'll never win the case with him as your lawyer—he's just out of law school and still wet behind the ears! This group of interns seems especially wet behind the ears—I barely trust them to get my coffee!
See also: behind, ear, wet

wet behind the ears

 and not dry behind the ears; hardly dry behind the ears
Fig. young and inexperienced. John's too young to take on a job like this! He's still wet behind the ears! He may be wet behind the ears, but he's well-trained and totally competent. Tom is going into business by himself? Why, he's hardly dry behind the ears.
See also: behind, ear, wet

wet behind the ears

Also, not dry behind the ears. Immature, inexperienced, as in How can you take instructions from Tom? He's still wet behind the ears, or Jane's not dry behind the ears yet. This term alludes to the fact that the last place to dry in a newborn colt or calf is the indentation behind its ears. [Early 1900s]
See also: behind, ear, wet

wet behind the ears

If someone is wet behind the ears, they are young and do not have much knowledge or experience of a situation. Hawking was a research student, still wet behind the ears by scientific standards. Terry, it turned out, was just out of university and wet behind the ears. Note: You can also use wet-behind-the-ears before a noun. The song is all about how he felt as a small-town, wet-behind-the-ears kid coming to LA for the first time. Note: There are two possible origins for this expression. It may refer to a young animal being washed by its mother. Alternatively, it may refer to children forgetting to dry behind their ears after washing.
See also: behind, ear, wet

wet behind the ears

lacking experience; immature. informal
The image is of a baby or young animal which is still damp after it has been born.
See also: behind, ear, wet

(still) ˌwet behind the ˈears

(informal, disapproving) be young and with very little experience: He’s a young teacher, still wet behind the ears. OPPOSITE: an old hand (at something/at doing something)
See also: behind, ear, wet

wet behind the ears

Inexperienced; green.
See also: behind, ear, wet
References in periodicals archive ?
Coun Kevin Foster is wet behind the ears and has the gall to stand for Parliament - if he stood as a councillor in Bablake Ward he would be booted out.
I could tell of kids still wet behind the ears in the current Wales squad who already believe they are far too important for anything as demeaning as talking to the media - and thus, to the fans.
Players that have obvious class, but are maybe a little too young, too naive or wet behind the ears could be brought on in leaps and bounds by handing them valuable experience.
His performances in Argentina's successful Under-20 World Cup campaign are what brought him to the attention of Alex McLeish, who in true Sven-style placed a lot of trust in a video tape, but Zarate is still wet behind the ears when it comes to top class football.
When David Beckham turned down a string of Premiership clubs and teams in Europe to join the Major League Soccer circuit, many of us scoffed at the prospect because the feeling on this side of the pond is that the Americans are still wet behind the ears when it comes to playing football as we know it.
Supporters of the under-achieving Cumbrians may have endured a soaking beyond belief when January's storms broke but as long-suffering fans they are hardly wet behind the ears.
Eagles (-14) at Browns: I don't want to say Browns rookie QB Spergon Wynn is wet behind the ears, but he's been showing up on Doppler Radar.
Likewise the domestic incident that literally blew up in the face of the fresh-faced rookie, which also left you wondering what sort of force would send home a wet behind the ears probationer whose first day on the job involved a hostage scenario that almost killed him and left a guy in pieces, with just a pat on the head and an "are you ok" from the sergeant
Rob is wet behind the ears and when the chips are down he goes right over the top.
His progress mirrors that of Mathew Tait, another boy wonder to be called up while still wet behind the ears.
I was a bit wet behind the ears and they taught me an enormous amount.
I don't think we are wet behind the ears and naive to what this is all about," he said.
She still appeared wet behind the ears here last time and I wouldn't be surprised if she was a bit flattered by her finishing effort because she was glued to the stands' side, which can often be the place to be.