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 told him: “It’s now time for some house chores. The garbage needs to be taken out, the rugs need to be vacuumed, and the dishes need to be done. I don’t want to hear no ifs, ands, or buts.” (In other words, she doesn’t want to hear excuses from him.)
Synonyms / Related Phrases:
No excuses

The Origin Of ‘No Ifs, Ands, Or Buts

People do not always want to fulfill the responsibilities they have or complete the tasks they are given. Some people might even 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?”

Since these three words are frequently a part of excuses, someone tired of hearing them might say “no if, ands, or buts.” In other words, no excuses!

Anyways, let’s talk about 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┬ánewspaper from the year 1854:

“No ifs or ands or buts about it.”

Example Sentence(s)

  • Bob has played videos games instead of focusing on his school work, so his grades have suffered. His parents told him to finish his homework first from now on, and they didn’t want to hear no ifs ands or buts.

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. Additionally, these quotes most often come from old newspapers or books, but a quote from them does not necessarily mean the phrase originated from them. For example, if I quote a newspaper from 1750, it simply means the phrase is that old.

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