In Persian, when we think it is almost impossible to find out about or discover something, we usually say "even a genie wouldn't find it out!" For example:

"They had stashed the drugs where even a genie wouldn't discover!"

Is there anything like that in English?

  • Can you please make an example where this idiom would be used.
    – user 66974
    Jun 17, 2020 at 12:04
  • @user121863 - Even a genie couldn't find out why you think a specific example is necessary when the question explains the concept quite clearly.
    – nnnnnn
    Jun 17, 2020 at 12:09
  • @nnnnnn - I don’t think it is clear enough. Find out what?
    – user 66974
    Jun 17, 2020 at 12:12
  • 1
    @user121863 - I just added an example.
    – YesMe91
    Jun 17, 2020 at 12:19
  • What's wrong with the simple word undiscoverable? They had stashed the drugs in a place that was undiscoverable. Jun 17, 2020 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


The nearest English idiom I can think of is "God only knows".

(You might think the word order should be "only God knows", but the idiom has it the other way.)

This idiom gets used in both trivial and serious contexts. The literal meaning is of course that only God would know the answer, but it is also used figuratively to refer to things that might be difficult but not completely impossible to find out.

It can can be used in response to a question, e.g.:

"Where did they stash the loot?"
"God only knows."

Or as part of a statement (typically expressing frustration at not knowing):

"God only knows where they stashed the loot."

Some people shorten it to "God knows". Another equivalent expression is "Heaven knows."

  • We too use the expression "God only knows" in Persian. But I was looking for something more similar to the expression about genie. Something with the same negative structure!
    – YesMe91
    Jun 17, 2020 at 12:36
  • @YesMe91 - This is the nearest English idiom I can think of, actually the only appropriate one that came readily to mind. "God only knows" doesn't have negative wording, but in actual usage the meaning is effectively the same - the obvious implication is that nobody (else) knows how to find out about the thing in question.
    – nnnnnn
    Jun 17, 2020 at 12:59
  • I don't think there is an idiom, per se but "They had stashed the drugs where even Sherlock Holmes would not find them!" would work.
    – Greybeard
    Jul 17, 2020 at 16:59

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