I've got a mind / memory like a sieve


English - English ;-)

For posting in a social forum, referring to the fact of having so much on that a person is quite forgetful at the moment:
... and because of everything going on, I've got a mind like a sieve

and because of everything going on, I've got a memory like a sieve

Logically the second one seems more accurate, but the first one feels more natural.

Is one or the other better? I can't quite put my finger on it.

Having started to think about it, 'having a mind like a sieve' seems a positively attractive state of affairs, or rather, a perfectly natural and unavoidable one.

Should, or do, these expressions in fact carry the negative connotations that I thought they did?
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  • Murphy

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    I've always heard and used the second one. To me, "I've got a memory like a sieve" means I keep forgetting things that I really should remember.

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I use "brain like a sieve". It is in fact a phrase I use quite often. I learned it from Grandmother Mole, so it is hereditary. However, I think brain, memory and mind are all used, and all sound acceptable to me.

    As James says, it means to have a poor memory; to be prone to forget things. It's a disadvantage, so I would not call it positive, however I don't take it as a criticism as such: after all, it is something one cannot help having. It's a rather mild and jocular way of pointing this out, often to oneself.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree with MM: all three are possible. I say "I've got a mind like a sieve".

    I wish I hadn't....:(
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