There is an idiom in Persian (I translated it in English) and also I wrote its meaning. I wanted to know whether there are some similar English idioms for this Persian Idiom or not?

  1. PERSIAN: someone is not in the garden. or someone is out of the garden. MEANING: used to say that someone is not actually involved in the situation that you are talking about.

Some examples:

Conversation 1:

Student: I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention to what you were saying.

Teacher: You are out of the Garden, Nothing can excuse this kind of rudeness.

Conversation 2:

Frank: Mum, I want to go to French language classes, just like Bobby, our neighbour's son.

Susan: I want to go to dancing class like Elizabeth my classmate. I don't like you anymore! (Susan yelled hysterically)

Mother: There’s no need to shout! I can hear you! (Mother moaned and cried out, left the house)

Mother told the story to Aunt Julia and said: I’m a bit hard up at the moment.

Aunt Julia: They're out of the garden, need to be taught a lesson!

Mother: You know Julia, Nothing can compensate for my husband's death. I don't know what else to do! They cannot comprehend the extent of the disaster.

  • 2
    Could you give a specific example? An imaginary conversation?
    – TimR
    Aug 4, 2018 at 19:25
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo some examples added.
    – a.RR
    Aug 5, 2018 at 10:02
  • The examples don't quite match the idea of "not involved". Instead they seem to be describing unacceptable behaviour. Not listening in class, and making impossible demands of a parent are examples of unreasonable behaviour.
    – James K
    Aug 5, 2018 at 11:59
  • @JamesK The student and the kids are not paying attention or not actually involved in what's happening.
    – a.RR
    Aug 5, 2018 at 13:20

2 Answers 2


There are lots of expressions that mean "not paying attention".

away with the fairies
in a world of his own

The second example seems to be not that the children are not aware, but that they haven't thought through the (financial) implications of their father's death. Perhaps they are hoplessly optimistic that they will be able to spend money as before

There is an expression "be in cloud-cuckoo-land" that means "have fanciful, idealistic or over-optimistic notions", and hence not be involved in reality.

Those kids are in cloud-cuckoo-land; they need to be taught a lesson.

Part of my difficulty in expressing this is that Aunt Julia's attitude seems excessively harsh, given that Frank and Susan have recently lost a father.

  • She is the wife of their mother’s brother, she was green with envy, envious of their short-lived romance.
    – a.RR
    Aug 7, 2018 at 17:35

Based on the edit adding the example to the question, a common expression is a million miles away: lost in thought; daydreaming and not paying attention. (Only one's mind is far away. *Typically: be ~; look to be ~; seem ~.) McGraw-Hill

the teacher would say, "You're a million miles away."

Another: You're here in body but not in mind (self-explanatory)

Looking at the additional example, I'm wondering if there is a single English idiom that would cover the range of uses you describe. The second conversation describes the children dealing with a terrible situation in an inappropriate or nonconstructive way.

Aunt Julia would probably say they were out of control. Her statement focuses on their behavior and punishment without consideration of what they're dealing with, so "out of the garden" wouldn't seem to apply.

However, Mother's explanation would seem to be closer to what you describe (maybe something is lost in translation due to cultural differences). Mother might explain that they were out of touch with the situation, or not dealing well with the situation, which seems more closely related to your definition.

If Aunt Julia's statement is meant in the context that the children aren't paying attention to the situation and acting appropriately to it (situational awareness), I'm having trouble thinking of a common, general idiom for that. They tend to be more specific to the nature of the behavior.

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