I'm looking for an idiom that sounds like something someone's grandpa might say.

Once again, I'm working on a translation of an English source text that is itself a translation
(and I'm pretty confident it wasn't done by a native).

Some bad-ass grandpa tells an ill-reputed youngster to forget about ever seeing his granddaughter again.

The translator has written this:

Bygones are bygones.

Let bygones be bygones seem to be the standard phrasing, but that implies forgiveness.
And that's not the case here.

Offhand, I can't really think of some other idiom of the same register that could be used instead.

What do you suggest?

  • don't even think about it; ain't gonna happen
    – Drew
    Aug 11, 2017 at 19:57
  • Lasciate ogni speranza, voi qu'entrate -- Dante, the inscription over the Gates of Hell. Of course, not exactly the same thing, since the grandpa in question isn't about to let anyone enter anywhere in the first place. May 25, 2020 at 17:22

3 Answers 3


You could say that ship has sailed.

That opportunity has already passed.

Example uses:

That’s why, although it makes sense to prepare for hot times in the old town tomorrow, it makes even more sense to get cracking immediately on efforts aimed at limiting climate change. (Forget about avoiding it altogether; that ship has sailed.)

It actually used to be in Bernanke's interest to be vague – when he was too specific, the markets freaked out and threatened to undo some of the benefits he brought to them – but that ship has sailed.


You don't have a snowball's chance in hell with my granddaughter while I'm alive.

Definition of the phrase from The Cambridge English Dictionary

to have no chance of succeeding:

If he can't afford a good lawyer, he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning the case


If you think you're seeing my granddaughter again, you can go whistle (which I think is more common in British English) or whistle for it (which I think is more common in American English).

From The Virtual Linguist:

The first citation in the OED for the phrase go whistle is from the 1450s: " If eny man pretende so greet a curiosite anentis þe persoon of crist þat he lackid þe passioun of angir, he may go whistle til he leerne bettir."

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