There’s No Telling

Meaning of Idiom ‘There’s No Telling’

The phrase “there’s no telling” means it is impossible to know (something); anything could happen.

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Examples Of Use

“Frank is out of control. There’s no telling what he’s going to do next.”

“What do you think the jury is going to decide, asked Barry? “There’s no telling,” said Lloyd, this is a complicated case.”

“Better bring rain gear. There’s no telling what the weather might do in the mountains.”


Used since at least the 1820’s.

The word tell can sometimes have the meaning “decide or determine correctly or with certainty.” For example:

“How can meteorologists tell whether it is going to rain or not?”

The question is asking how meteorologists can determine whether or not it is going to rain.

The idiom uses the sense of the word tell to say that there is no way to determine or decide correctly.

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