In my language when a question is asking something really obvious we are using a phrase that if translated means:

What is making a "meow meow" sound on the roof/rooftop?

Is there an equivalent phrase to that in English? Kind of slang but with nothing that can be considered rude in the sense of "Do bears shit in the woods?"

  • What? You mean you don't know? ;-) Jun 10, 2011 at 3:04
  • 1
    Just for my info, what language has this colourful expression making a "meow meow" sound on the roof ? Jun 10, 2011 at 5:56
  • It is greek and it sounds much better than how I translated it.
    – o4tlulz
    Jun 10, 2011 at 11:40
  • "You don't say" would be the best reply to a question like that. :D
    – user19341
    Jun 8, 2012 at 13:08

5 Answers 5


You're looking for rhetorical affirmations.

In addition to the examples given in other answers,


  • Is the sky blue?
  • Is the ocean salty?
  • Is the sun hot?
  • Is the atomic weight of Cobalt 58.9? (from Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters II)
  • This is what I am looking for. Is there a phrase that is more popular for this particular situation??
    – o4tlulz
    Jun 11, 2011 at 3:59
  • 1
    TBH, "Is the Pope Catholic" seems to be the most common, provided people get it - I think you could use "Is the sky blue" so that everyone knows it's so obvious.
    – JoseK
    Jun 11, 2011 at 4:26

The g-rated version of 'does a bear sh*t in the woods?' is,

Is the Pope Catholic?

  • Are you implying that bears wear robes? Jun 10, 2011 at 2:54
  • I've seen "Does the pope wear a funny hat?" - but depending on religious orientation this may not be PC.
    – teylyn
    Jun 10, 2011 at 10:58

"Even a blind man could see that."


There's the idiomatic saying:

As plain as the nose on your face.

This just means something is really obvious.

  • I am looking for something in a question form, so you can ask someone who for example hesitates to answer an easy question or simply states something really obvious.
    – o4tlulz
    Jun 10, 2011 at 3:56
  • @o4tlulz, To be fair, you didn't ask for something specifically in question form. I've re-tagged your question.
    – Ambo100
    Jun 10, 2011 at 9:57

For added effect you can make your own phrase that is relevant to what you're writing about. 'Is the Pope Catholic?' has been used over and over again. Get creative and add humour in creative writing.

JoseK's last example is a creative way of recycling the phrase.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.