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The English We Speak

Intermediate level

Not see hide nor hair

Episode 220411 / 11 Apr 2022

Summary

Sometimes it’s impossible to find someone – it’s like they’ve disappeared. There’s a phrase to use in this situation. Jiaying’s about to tell Rob what it is and how to find it – but first they need to find Roy!

Transcript

Jiaying
Hello and welcome to The English We Speak with me, Jiaying…

Rob
And me, Rob. Jiaying, why is it everyone in our office keeps disappearing?

Jiaying
What do you mean?

Rob
Well, every time I want to talk to someone, I can’t find them! Like Roy, for example. I need to talk to him about something, but he’s nowhere to be seen. Have you seen him?

Jiaying
No - I’ve not seen hide nor hair of him.

Rob
You mean he’s hiding from me?

Jiaying
No, Rob. If we say ‘we’ve not seen hide nor hair of someone’, it simply means we’ve not seen them anywhere for some time. Do you need to see him urgently?

Rob
Yes, I wanted him to read out some examples – but Neil will do…

Examples
I haven’t seen hide nor hair of Suki all week – maybe she’s on holiday?

We haven’t seen hide nor hair of the builders since we paid them.

We didn’t see hide nor hair of the manager the whole time we were in the office.

Jiaying
This is The English We Speak from BBC Learning English, and we’re learning about the expression ‘to not see hide nor hair of someone’, which means to have not seen someone around for some time – like they have disappeared. Rob, I hope Roy really hasn’t disappeared – should we look for him?

Rob
No, it’s ok, he’ll turn up.

Jiaying
He has, Rob! He’s over there and he’s had a haircut.

Rob
Oh, he’s had it all cut off – now we really won’t see hide nor any hair of him if he disappears again!

Jiaying
No. Anyway, Rob, I meant to ask you if you could have that (note of) ten pounds back, I lent you?

[DOOR CLOSES}

… oh, maybe I won’t see hide nor hair of him for some time! Bye. 

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