The following expressions are idiomatic:

1) "I wouldn't touch Z with a 10-foot pole", meaning the speaker wouldn't want to be involved with Z in any way.

2) "S couldn't find his way out of a paper bag," meaning S has a bad sense of direction.

Is there an idiomatic hyperbole of the same form which means "I wouldn't trust Z at all"?

Edit: to be more precise, I'm looking for something where the image/hyperbole is related to being untrustworthy.

2 Answers 2


I'm guessing you're looking for a phrase which has "I", the subject of the sentence, talking about their impression of "Z", the object. If that's the case, then the previous answer has it covered.

But here are some expressions where "Z" itself is the subject:

  • crooked as a dog’s hind leg -> Probably the most direct
  • Economical with the truth -> Untrustworthy more in the sense of being dishonest
  • hairy at the heel -> Outdated; usually implies someone who's scary in addition to being untrustworthy
  • bad egg -> a little more generic but can fit the bill

I'm sure there are many others in the same realm but if you'd provide a little more context about why they're untrustworthy (dishonest vs unreliable vs unfaithful), you'd probably be able to find an idiom that fits a little better than another.

  • .. and the time-honoured "would sell his own grandmother if he could get a good price". Apr 13, 2015 at 17:25

"I wouldn't trust User43228 as far as I could throw him/her."

Source: Cambridge Idioms Dictionary as cited on The Free Dictionary.

  • Source? Meaning (for the uninitiated like us here)?
    – Kris
    Apr 13, 2015 at 6:25
  • Meaning a small amount indeed, at least given an average physical prowess!
    – Hypaethral
    Apr 13, 2015 at 6:26
  • 2
    Not quite the same meaning, but might be said of the same untrustworthy person: "You can tell when he's lying - his lips move." Apr 13, 2015 at 6:28
  • this is good but I'm looking more for something where the image/hyperbole is related to being untrustworthy
    – anonymous
    Apr 13, 2015 at 16:32
  • 1
    There's not one widely known that I can think of. You could make up your own, though! “I wouldn't trust you with a bucket of water if my knickers were on fire!” -goodreads.com/quotes/…
    – Hypaethral
    Apr 13, 2015 at 16:35

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