it's all Greek to me
- (idiomatic) I don't understand any of it; it makes no sense.
- I tried reading the instructions, but it's all Greek to me.
- 1564, François Rabelais; Pierre Motteux (translator from French), Gargantua and Pantagruel, volume V, published 1694:
- During the processions they trilled and quavered most melodiously betwixt their teeth I do not know what antiphones, or chantings, by turns. For my part, 'twas all Hebrew-Greek to me, the devil a word I could pick out on't;
- 1844, Frederick Marryat, The Settlers in Canada:
- “Well,” said Alfred, “it may be a letter, but I confess it is all Greek to me.”
- 1849, Herman Melville, chapter VI, in Redburn. His First Voyage:
- I ran after him, and received an order to go aloft and “slush down the main-top mast.” This was all Greek to me, and after receiving the order, I stood staring about me, wondering what it was that was to be done.
- 1904, George M. Fenn, The Ocean Cat's Paw:
- “Look here, Mr. Count,” he said; “I am only a rough Englishman, and a lot of what you have been saying about mission and that sort of thing is just so much Greek to me.”
- 1907, H. G. Wells, The War in the Air:
- “It's more like some firm's paper. All this printed stuff at the top. Drachenflieger. Drachenballons. Ballonstoffe. Kugelballons. Greek to me.”
- 1927-1929, Mahatma Gandhi; Mahadev Desai (translator), An Autobiography or The Story of my Experiments with Truth, published 1940, Part II (VIII):
- A Parsi lawyer was examining a witness and asking him question regarding credit and debit entries in account books. It was all Greek to me.
- 1965, Harry Ray Bannister, The Education of a Broadcaster, page 16:
- Cavanaugh explained the network-affiliate relationship, which of course was all Greek to me and remained so even after his explanation.
- 2004, Jacob Taubes, The Political Theology of Paul, page 99:
- […] it was expected of me, or it was considered an honor, to lecture on seventeenth-century philosophy: Descartes (which was all Greek to me), Descartes to Spinoza.
- Synonym: it's all Chinese to me
I don't understand any of this