If it bit you in the ass : a less colloquial equivalent to it?

Hetep-Heres

Member
Français - France
Hello!

I'm currently looking for a more proper equivalent to the idiom "if it bit you in the ass (or arse)".
As in : "You couldn't know xxx (insert whatever you want) if it bit you in the ass."

I'd like to carry the same idea but without the informal / vulgar tone.

Could something like "if it hit you in the face" work? Is it a known / common expression? Do you have any other suggestion?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    To me, the idiom is: "You wouldn't know xxx (insert whatever you want) if it bit you on the arse (BE spelling of ass)."

    I have heard: "You wouldn't know xxx (insert whatever you want) if it came up and shook hands with you."
     

    Language Hound

    Senior Member
    American English
    And PaulQ, you're right: Wouldn't is better than couldn't...
    It's not a question of wouldn't being better than couldn't;
    couldn't is simply wrong here--at least in my version of English.

    EDITED to add another possibility:
    ...if it were staring you right in the face.
     
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