There is a common Arabic idiom, which literally translated says:

Soak it and drink its water

It can said about pretty much anything, to express a kind of contemptuous indifference.

For example, when Hassan Naseralah was informed Hezbollah had been included in the European Union's list of terrorist groups, he made a speech where he said "You can soak your list and drink its water".

It's similar to the English idiom "you can shove it up your a$$ for all I care", except in Arabic the phrase is formal, not vulgar.

Is there a formal, or at least non-vulgar, analogous idiom in English which expresses contemptuous indifference, belittlement, and scornful dismissal?

  • It's really not clear what you mean by this phrase. Can you elaborate on the sentiment? Provide a few examples?
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 18:05
  • I remember the American press using it to metaphrase Hassan Naseralah speech. Hassan Naseralah Hezbollah were included in the EU terror list, he responded by saying 'soak your terror list and drink its water'. It is a common arabic idiom, meaning something I am not moved by a scintilla amout/I don't care might refer to smth like shove it up your ***. But it is formal. It is belittling and scornful.
    – mahpack
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 18:13
  • What exactly are you asking? I don't know this usage, but it seems to derive from Some Muslims ... write some Quran verses on papers using Saffron, then soak it and drink its water Are you asking us to explain exactly what it supposedly "means" (probably just a matter of opinion), or seeking alternative (and more well-known) idiomatic usages for the general context of contemptuously dismissing something? Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 18:13
  • @FumbleFingers After his clarification, I think OP is seeking a formal (or at least not vulgar) alternative to the phrase You can take your X and stuff it.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 18:15
  • Fumble fingers, I have never heard of that. I am not asking that. This is a common reprehesible and degrading idiom.
    – mahpack
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 18:16

4 Answers 4


That list is not worth the paper it is printed/written on.

not worth the paper something is printed on also not worth the paper something is written on

= to have no value or importance He's got a degree from an online university that's not worth the paper it's printed on. The landlord's promises were not worth the paper they were written on.



Stick that in your pipe and smoke it

Not exactly a match as it's often used as a counter argument, but has the same feeling.

that terror list is a load of made up rubbish! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!


We'd say "I couldn't care less."

Note that it is properly "couldn't", and that this makes sense. People may say "could" instead if they are uneducated, illogical, or having speech problems.


You may say I don't give a hoot about this.

Also "not give two hoots" or "not give a damn".

  • It means that you don't care about something at all and show no concern or interest.
  • For example, "I don’t give a hoot about what people think of me".

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