No Ifs, Ands, Or Buts


If someone says they don’t want to hear no ifs, ands, or buts then that means they don’t want to hear any excuses.

Example: Jimmy has been relaxing all morning, so his mother said to him, “It’s time for you to do some house chores. The garbage needs to be taken out, the rugs need to be vacuumed, and the dishes need to be cleaned. I don’t want to hear no ifs, ands, or buts.” (In other words, she doesn’t want to hear excuses from him.)

1. No excuses

The Origin Of ‘No Ifs, Ands, Or Buts

When a person is given a certain responsibility or task to complete, they might not always want to do it. So they might come up with a reason, or an excuse, for why they can’t. Sometimes these reasons are valid, but other times they are not. The conjectures “if” “and” or “but” are often a part of these excuses. For example, if a parent tells their child to take out the trash, the child might say: “But I’m in the middle of something.” Or maybe: “I’m tired, what if I do it tomorrow?”

So perhaps this phrase originated from someone who was tired of hearing these three words as a part of some excuse. They didn’t want to hear any “if, ands, or buts.”

Anyway, how old this phrase is? This expression is at least over 150 years old. For instance, it appears in print in the New York Daily Times newspaper from the year 1854:

“No ifs or ands or buts about it.”

Example Sentence(s)

  • Bob has been playing videos games instead of focusing on his school work; this has affected his grades at school. So his parents told him from now on he has to finish his homework first and that they didn’t want to hear no ifs ands or buts about it.

Similar Example:

  • I need you to pick up your little sister from school later because I have a doctor’s appointment; no excuses.

Note: There are times when the origin of a phrase is not known. Still, what will usually be provided on the phrase’s page is a quote. These quotes are typically the earliest known appearance of the expression that I could find. These quotes often come from old newspapers or books and they can give you some idea on how old a phrase or idiom is.