When You Just Don’t Know #1LinerWeds

Here’s another “grandpaism.” I have no idea where this came from. My grandfather quit school just shy of finishing the 8th grade because of some wrong-headed notion (according to him). He was a plenty smart guy, but not highly educated, so this isn’t the sort of formulation native to his speech.

Still, if you asked him something he didn’t know and had no way of finding out (Does your Aunt Rose plan to come to the reunion today? Is beef roast still on sale at the market? Do dogs dream?), he would reply:

Not knowing, I hesitate to say.

Is that perfect? I love that! You’re welcome!

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s weekly blog hop, One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner or just like them, follow the link.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Ask your main character a question they can’t answer and see what they say.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “When You Just Don’t Know #1LinerWeds

  1. dan antion

    October 17, 2018 at 7:22am

    Today, not knowing seems to keep very few people from saying! Wise man.

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  2. Mitchell Allen

    October 17, 2018 at 7:24am

    That is a very good answer. Seems like it should be on one of those posters people hang in their cubicles.



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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 17, 2018 at 7:57am

      If the poster came with a picture of a Border Collie on it, Grandpa would have loved it!

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  3. pm laberge

    October 17, 2018 at 9:13am

    If only more people today had that kind of brains and wisdom.
    Particularly politicians.
    I shall have to try borrow this.

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  4. Laurie

    October 17, 2018 at 12:44pm

    Sometimes the best thing to say is “I don’t know.” Your grandpa was a smart and confident man.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 17, 2018 at 2:41pm

      Not if my mother asked you the question. If my mother asked you something, your answer was expected to be, “I don’t know…But I’ll find out.” If that second part didn’t follow, she would raise an eyebrow and give you A Look until that second part remembered itself and came out of hiding. Then you found out and gave her the answer to her question.

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  5. John Holton

    October 17, 2018 at 12:57pm

    That sentence is almost old world in its construction. I love it!

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 17, 2018 at 2:42pm

      A friend of mine in England says her mother and grandfather used to say it, too! I just wonder how my grandfather came by it?

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  6. Laura

    October 17, 2018 at 4:24pm

    A wise man indeed. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  7. Mary J Giese

    October 17, 2018 at 5:43pm

    I like it. I may use it the next time someone at work asks me a question that they wrongly believe I know the answer to.

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  8. joey

    October 20, 2018 at 9:33am

    That’s so good, I will actually use this one DAILY. I’ve only been able to “and don’t spare the horses” once.

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