In a conversation I struggled to identify a common expression that a person was actually oblivious to his surroundings or an event.

  • 1
    "actually oblivious" ... the phrase is completely oblivious
    – Mazura
    May 14 '20 at 2:44
  • "Blissfully ignorant", "blissful ignorance"
    – Conrado
    May 14 '20 at 2:51
  • It depends on whether there is intent or not. One can remain blissfully ignorant if they are just clueless. Or they can be willfully ignorant if they know there may be an issue but decide not to pursue it so they can claim ignorance if questioned.
    – Jim
    May 14 '20 at 3:08
  • 1
    Ignorance does not make you inculpable. "blissfully ignorant" is negligence. "willfully ignorant" is gross negligence.
    – Mazura
    May 14 '20 at 3:56
  • 1
    Although there is an expression "Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise", we often see 'blissfully ignorant' used about states of unawareness that are not worthy of blame or derision, e.g. I set out on vacation blissfully unaware that my hotel had burned down the night before. May 14 '20 at 6:17

“innocent (of)” is appropriate for describing being oblivious of events or surroundings; you’ve already used “innocent”. (“Out of it” is a slang option. See http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/out-of-it.)

2a : lacking or reflecting a lack of sophistication, guile, or self-consciousness : ARTLESS, INGENUOUS

b : IGNORANT … almost entirely innocent of Latin. — C. L. Wrenn

also : UNAWARE … perfectly innocent of the confusion he had created …


  • Hahaha, it was 'blissfully ignorant'! I just couldn't think of it. Thank you to all, especially Conrado.
    – Cosmo
    May 14 '20 at 4:52

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