No saber / tener ni patata - ¡No tiene ni patata...!

Cerros de Úbeda

Senior Member
UK
Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
Hola,

¿Cómo traduciríais al inglés la expresión 'no saber / tener ni patata de algo'?

Es como la de 'no tener ni idea de algo', aunque más coloquial - quizás por lo de 'no tener ni 'P' de algo' (eufemismo de 'no tener ni puta (idea) de algo').

A mi se me ocurre 'not to have a clue'... ¿Alguna más coloquial?


Contexto:
Una joven hablando de un compañero de clase;

A- Parece que el que se sienta delante sabe un montón...
B- ¡Qué va...! ¡No tiene ni patata...! ¡Lo que pasa es que habla con esos aires de importancia, y parece que supiera mucho más...!

Mi intento:
A- The guy who sits in front seems to know loads...
B- No way...! He hasn't got a clue...! It's just that he talks with those airs of self-importance, and it looks like he knew much more than he actually does!


Gracias de antemano.
 
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  • Masood

    Senior Member
    British English
    There's loads of ways to say this (including your suggestion). Others (UK) :
    He's clueless...
    He doesn't know the first thing (about)...
    He knows diddly squat...
    He hasn't got a Scooby...


    There are plenty of more 'colourful' examples.
     
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    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    The version I've usually heard is "ni jota," and in your example context I might say:

    A- The guy sitting up front knows a lot.
    B- No way! He's hasn't the foggiest [idea]! He just talks with that self-important air, and it only sounds like he knows so much.

    As Masood says, there are dozens of ways to say this.
     

    Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    He's clueless...
    He doesn't know the first thing (about)...
    He knows diddly squat...
    He hasn't got a Scooby...


    There are plenty of more 'colourful' examples.
    I like those.

    I would choose 'hasn't got a Scooby...' as the most similar in tone to 'ni patata' (literally, 'not (even) a potato!').

    Note - I can guess the one with an 'f'... :D

    The version I've usually heard is "ni jota,"
    Yes.

    '¡Ni jota!' is the more traditional one. The one everybody, people of all ages, would use.

    '¡Ni patata!' is a more slangy one - mostly used by youths, and I guess mainly young women, not so much guys.
     
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    Marsianitoh

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    Around here we don't say " no tiene ni patata", in fact, I've never heard that. We do say " no sabe ni patata (papa)/ no entiende ni patata (papa)".
    In my opinion ( and experience with youths) it is quite an old fashioned expression. Around here the versions with "patata" sound like something a child would say. The ones with "papa" are still used by men and women alike but not especially youths, let alone young women.
    Similar are "no tener ni ( puta/ pajolera/puñetera) idea" , "no saber/entender ni jota/ torta".
     
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    Masood

    Senior Member
    British English
    I would choose 'hasn't got a Scooby...' as the most similar in tone to 'ni patata' (literally, 'not (even) a potato!').
    That particular one, I'd say is used informally throughout the UK, but probably more prevalent in the South. It originates from Cockney Rhyming Slang (Scooby-Doo rhymes with Clue). The complete phrase is 'to not have a Scooby-Doo', but is more commonly heard in its shortened form, 'to not have a Scooby'.

    Here endeth today's lesson on English Etymology.

    Screenshot_20200208_072141.jpg
     
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    Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    Around here the versions with "patata" sound like something a child would say. The ones with "papa" are still used by men and women alike but not especially youths, let alone young women.

    ¡Aaah, 'ni papa'...! Esa sí que es una expresión antigua de caray... ¡Hacía décadas que no se la oía a nadie...!

    La decían las marujas de provincias hace décadas, creo... Se oía mucho en Andalucía, por las cafeterías y las ferias...

    Pero la gente joven, no... Los jóvenes (y especialmente, 'las' jóvenes) decíamos 'no saber / tener ni patata'... ¡Ah, qué tiempos aquellos, marsianitoh...!

    Pero la que me suena a mí a infantil es 'no tener ni papa' - que es lo que comen los niños chicos. La que usan los adultos es 'patata'...
     
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    Marsianitoh

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    En la tapa de una agenda:
    No Saber Ni Papa De Algo: Cuaderno: Amazon.es: Nota24 Nota7: Libros
    En el diccionario:
    https://www.collinsdictionary.com/es/amp/espanol-ingles/no-no-saber-ni-papa
    papa | Diccionario de la lengua española
    En un meme de internet:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=ust...d=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgrc=zd2A0t4bF9GFxM:
    Un foro :
    SpanishDict
    Una web :
    8 Spanish expressions that do not make sense in English | Spanish Connection
    Un artículo:
    Rajoy solo sabe que no sabe nada


    Hay un vídeo gracioso en YouTube también "no entiendo ni papa", lo puedes buscar ( he puesto el link, pero lo he quitado, me he acordado de que no podemos poner videos sin permiso )

    Cerros igual los jóvenes decíais "ni patata" en el patio de tu cole, no lo pongo en duda, ni digo que esté mal, pero eso no quiere decir que eso fuera o sea así en todas partes. En todos esos ejemplos de arriba mencionan " ni papa", si fuera una expresión tan anticuada y exclusivamente femenina como tú la pintas no creo se molestaran en explicarla o utilizarla.
    Por aquí no decimos "no tener ni patata/papa".
     
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