I am writing a story and my character is being scolded for doing something stupid. I have an expression on the tip of my tongue, but part of it keeps evading me! "Have you lost the [thing that keeps evading me] you were born with?" Is it the good senses you were born with? The brain you were born with? I can't remember and it is beginning to drive me crazy... Does anyone know the part I'm missing?

  • 1
    We say "sense." Sometimes, it's used like a play on "cents"...like they lost change. – KannE Oct 11 '18 at 21:13

One possibility is

Have you lost the little sense you were born with?

Sometimes little is omitted.

For examples of usage in published literature, see here and here.


To paraphrase the 1907 American folk story Epaminondas and His Auntie, the saying is, "You don't have the sense you were born with."


I think it is 'the silver spoon in the mouth' that was lost. If they say so, it means you're not lucky.

  • We say 'born with a silver spoon in the mouth' of someone from a privileged background, but we don't normally speak of losing the spoon. – Kate Bunting Oct 12 '18 at 8:28

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

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