I am working in the IT field. We faced an issue and hired a consultant to resolve that. Consultant gave us some generic recommendation which is not based on any data and will not resolve our issue.

Do you have any word or idiom in English to explain such situation?


3 Answers 3


You could say the contractor's recommendations are pulled from a hat, like how a raffle winner might be selected - the recommendation has no rational basis or support, and is seemingly random.

One could also say the contractor is talking out of their ass, which occurs when a person expounds upon a subject with seeming authority, although they don't actually know what they're talking about. Another common term for this is bullshitting.

A way to express the utter uselessness of the recommendation is to remark "that and fifty cents will buy you a cup of coffee". Assuming a cup of coffee costs 50 cents (although not genreally true these days), the suggestion carries no value whatsoever.


Sounds like the contractor served up a nothingburger. From Lexico:

nothingburger: Something that is or turns out to be insignificant or lacking in substance.

A related possibility is Where's the beef? From Wikipedia:

Where's the beef? is a catchphrase in the United States and Canada, introduced as a slogan for the fast food chain Wendy's in 1984. Since then it has become an all-purpose phrase questioning the substance of an idea, event, or product. [Emphasis mine]

  • Except that this terminology is being turned on its head by the trend towards vegetable-based burgers.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 28, 2020 at 16:12
  • @HotLicks There is nothing in nothingburger* that requires the burger to be meat-based rather than vegetable-based. With regard to the oft-used query "Where's the beef?" -- in this day and age one could say, "Where are the veggies?" Silly. Jun 28, 2020 at 19:40

This idiom might leave the consultant fuming afterward but you could say that he's "talking through his hat".

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