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To draw a blank

Context #1: Faz and Tyler are eating at a restaurant.
Tyler: Faz, you are the most forgetful person I know.

No way! My memory is just fine.

Oh, really? How long have we known each other?

Um… More than ten years!

Okay, so what is my name?

It’s…ah… Give me a hint; I’m drawing a blank.

Context #2: Wilma has not been following Mr.
Scott’s lecture in class.

Mr. Scott: Wilma, what’s the answer to question 7 (in the book).

I’m not sure, Mr. Scott.

Mr. Scott:
We just talked about this, Wilma. Why don’t you know? Were you
doodling* in your notebook again?

No, sir. My notebook is clean. All I have been doing is drawing

Meaning: to forget, to not know, or to not have information.  A blank is a space without information. We use this idiom to tell our listener that our brain cannot create a picture or cannot give the correct information.

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  1. Post comment

    Thanks a bunch for sharing, guys … Great idiom that we often hear when we chat with our US contacts … Can we also say 'it slipped my mind' to convey the same meaning?
    Can't wait for more … Keep up the good work …

    Your Russian fans

  2. Post comment

    Hello, dearest Russian students!They may seem similar, but they have different meanings. "To draw a blank" means to be unable to remember something or think of anything else related to it at a certain moment in time – an example would be when you suddenly can't remember an actor's name in a movie you really like. "To slip one's mind" means to forget something that may or may not be important, usually because one is too busy to think about it. You usually use "draw a blank" in the present tense ("I remember the book, but I am drawing a blank on the author's name") but "slip one's mind" in the past tense ("I meant to pick up the dry cleaning on my way home from work but it slipped my mind. I'll get it tomorrow.")


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