I'm an English learner and I came across this sentence:

My stomach told me that this was unprecedented.

Does this expression mean that I had a feeling or my instincts told me that something that had never happened before has happened? Is it the same with "my gut tells me"?

I've Googled about it but didn't find anything special.

1 Answer 1


Yes, in both cases.
Unprecedented means without precedent that is without any previous occurrence or example. For example, precedence is often quoted in court for guidance where a similar, previous case has already been tried and decided, if no such case exists then it is unprecedented.
In my opinion, my guts told me or more idiomatically I felt in my guts is more common in BrE than my stomach told ne but both would be understood to mean the same.
I feel in the pit of my stomach ... is a similar phrase that usually means you have some foreboding or fear of what is about to happen or has just happened. It is also similar to I have a sinking feeling ... associated with dismay about something.
Possibly many of these feelings can be associated with an adrenaline rush which can be felt in the body when something unexpected happens.

  • 1
    Yes, guts is more commonly used in the figurative sense. I would expect my stomach to tell me that it's nearly time for dinner! Oct 21, 2023 at 15:09
  • "guts" is also more idiomatic in AmE. While "pit of the stomach" can be used figuratively, "stomach" by itself is not (except as a verb, as in "I can't stomach <something>")
    – Barmar
    Oct 23, 2023 at 17:18

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