It is used when someone claims to be something, and the other person nullifies his claim. It's like saying they are a liar and that particular thing doesn't have anything to do with him or her.

For example:

A: I am the custodian of democracy.
B: Democracy is innocent of you.
(Democracy has nothing to do with you, you're lying.)


A: I am a patriot.
B: Patriotism is innocent of you.

Is there an English equivalent that expresses this idea?

  • 1
    You could say, "I doubt that the two of you [that is, the person being addressed and democracy, say, or patriotism] are at all well acquainted."
    – Sven Yargs
    Jul 10, 2015 at 5:29
  • B: You are the antithesis of _____. ?
    – stevesliva
    Jul 10, 2015 at 6:06
  • 2
    You said it well yourself: . . . . . .. . . . . . . "[X] has nothing to do with you." Jul 10, 2015 at 7:05
  • 1
    @BrianHitchcock, "[X] has nothing to do with you" may not be the best choice, because it also has a meaning which is quite literal, namely "[X] is none of your business."
    – brasshat
    Jul 14, 2015 at 4:10
  • Maybe something like "Uh huh, sure you are."?
    – nielsbot
    May 5, 2017 at 22:12

5 Answers 5


You wouldn’t know democracy ... if it stared you in the face!

stare in the face idiom (The Free Dictionary)

When someone says this of another, they are employing hyperbole and sarcasm, since something that is staring you in the face ... is right before your eyes and plainly evident, so this idiom means, in effect, you not only are NOT a custodian of democracy, you don’t even know what a democracy is! So the Arabic phrase "innocent of you" is a bit more ... understated.

  • 2
    Or if 'it (came up and) bit you in the ass'. +1.
    – Tushar Raj
    Jul 10, 2015 at 6:46
  • Glad to hear it :)
    – Tushar Raj
    Jul 10, 2015 at 8:16
  • 1
    Or "You wouldn't know X from your own nose!"
    – mfoy_
    Jan 13, 2016 at 18:59

The word "innocent" has this same meaning in English, i.e., free from or devoid of. The OED gives the example sentence "The sermon ... was innocent of meaning."

The use has a somewhat mocking sense. In your examples of "innocent of you," as though involving you would be a guilty act.


A: I am the custodian of democracy.
B: Democracy? You don't even know the meaning of the word.

B is saying that A doesn't know what ‘democracy’ is; he might be implying that A is a hypocrite, a perfect idiot, or totally ignorant.


There is a southern expression: "you and the truth are strangers"

  • Welcome to ELU. While this is a relevant answer, a sentence or two by way of explanation would help here, I think -- see the other answers. Stack Exchange aims at a repository of reliable and justifiable knowledge.
    – Andrew Leach
    May 7, 2017 at 9:53

A strangely unoffensive and idiomatic way to say this is nothing could be further from the truth. For some reason, this focuses attention on the statement and basically begs the question of lying or mistake-making.

—used to say that something is absolutely not true. I know you think I don't care, but nothing could be further from the truth.

"Nothing Could Be Further from the Truth." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 5 May 2017.

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