betray your ignorance

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goldencypress

Senior Member
India - Malayalam
We have a saying in my language which translated into English means: I know what is eye black; it's as white as turmeric.

In other words, you betray your ignorance of both the eye black and turmeric.


Here’s another way of saying it:

I know what is brass. It’s black, like aluminium.

Is there a phrase, idiom or saying in English conveying a similar idea?

Thank you.
 
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  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I know that turmeric is a spice, although it is yellow, but what is "eye black"? The only meaning I know for the term is the black grease that players of certain sports (baseball, lacrosse, American football) place on their cheeks under their eyes to reduce glare.
     

    goldencypress

    Senior Member
    India - Malayalam
    A friend has forwarded to me a message comparing the agitations against the Citizenship Amendment Act recently passed by the Indian parliament and the Arab Spring.

    I want to tell him that neither does he know the objectives of the agitations nor of the Arab Spring.

    I hope this clarifies.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    By 'eye black' do you mean the black make-up people put around their eyes to make them look larger?

    That is the part I find puzzling.
     

    morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    Is this the saying you are talking about?
    “Oh yes, I do know Añjanam (the black “unguent” applied to eyes) - it is as white as turmeric”.
    It is a funny phrase, used to characterize people who don’t actually have an idea of anything they speak of. He doesn’t know what añjanam is actually like, doesn’t know what is turmeric, yet comes to have an opinion on everything pretending to be an authority
    [...]
    But the proverb actually says about such type of people who doesn't know any thing about something, yet give confident comments or explanation on the topic.
    [...]
    So in the proverb it says that, “I know what is ‘eye ink', it's ‘white’ in colour like 'turmeric'.” It shows that, such kind of people doesn't know what is 'anjanam', what is the real colour of 'turmeric' or how 'white' colour looks like. Yet someone.confidently commending on some topic.
    Source: quora.com

    I can't think of anything but the following off the top of my head:

    talk out one's ass (wiktionary)
    1. (Canada, US, slang) To speak authoritatively on a subject which one actually knows little about; to exaggerate, or talk nonsense.
    . . . or perhaps:

    talk through one's hat (wiktionary)
    1. (idiomatic) To speak lacking expertise, authority, or knowledge; to invent or fabricate facts.
     
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    Erebos12345

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    The first thing that comes to mind is: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

    Not a perfect match by any stretch, but within the same ballpark, I think.
     

    goldencypress

    Senior Member
    India - Malayalam
    The first thing that comes to mind is: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

    Not a perfect match by any stretch, but within the same ballpark, I think.
    I'm sorry, but this is a very inappropriate comment on a forum like this. This will discourage members from asking questions.
     

    Erebos12345

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt. <--- Sweetheart, this was my answer to your original question. You wanted an English expression. I provided you with one. I also added that I thought that my answer "[wasn't] a perfect match [to your original expression] by any stretch, but [that it was] within the same ballpark."

    Did you really believe I was referring to you? Just so we're clear, #9 was also not accusing "you of talking out of your ass." #9 was also providing an answer to your question. :rolleyes:

    It's kind of ironic...you erroneously believed that these "inappropriate" expressions were referring directly to you, and yet your goal is to use them to refer directly to your friend.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    A friend has forwarded to me a message comparing the agitations against the Citizenship Amendment Act recently passed by the Indian parliament and the Arab Spring.

    I want to tell him that neither does he know the objectives of the agitations nor of the Arab Spring.

    I hope this clarifies.
    You could try a nonsense sentence to suggest that he has it all wrong:

    If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't.
    (Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass)

    ...or you could be more direct
    They say that ignorance is bliss. You must be the happiest man alive.
     

    goldencypress

    Senior Member
    India - Malayalam
    You could try a nonsense sentence to suggest that he has it all wrong:

    If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't.
    (Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass)

    ...or you could be more direct
    They say that ignorance is bliss. You must be the happiest man alive.
    Thank you, velisarius
     

    goldencypress

    Senior Member
    India - Malayalam
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt. <--- Sweetheart, this was my answer to your original question. You wanted an English expression. I provided you with one. I also added that I thought that my answer "[wasn't] a perfect match [to your original expression] by any stretch, but [that it was] within the same ballpark."

    Did you really believe I was referring to you? Just so we're clear, #9 was also not accusing "you of talking out of your ass." #9 was also providing an answer to your question. :rolleyes:

    It's kind of ironic...you erroneously believed that these "inappropriate" expressions were referring directly to you, and yet your goal is to use them to refer directly to your friend.
    I'm sorry I misunderstood your answer. Thank you.
     
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