Is there any proverb or fixed expression to imply that one cannot mislead or deceive a wise and well-experienced person?

For instance, let's think that you are a well-versed mechanic and want to purchase a second-hand automobile from a con artist who thinks that they can pull the wool over your eyes and sell you a car which has worked 120,000 miles for a car that moved only 12,000. You are enough experienced to be able to distinguish between a beater and an almost brand new car. You open the car hood and immediately realize that it is plain the car at least moved more than 12,000 miles.

I need a proverb or expression or even an idiom to use in such a situation to say in a sarcastically that you cannot fool an experienced person!

Such a saying depending on the situation can sound too offensive. Sometimes, you can use it in a humorous and friendly tone with your friends in some more slight situations

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  • Well @James Bassford please note that in my previous thread nobody was going to mislead or deviate someone else, while in this thread someone is doing so! In my former case which you have already linked it, the person in my question was going to teach someone something or somehow show-off or pretend to be wiser! I guess these two are far away from one another JB.
    – A-friend
    Jun 1, 2019 at 17:42
  • @A-friend "...while in this thread someone is doing so!" Your question here clearly says cannot mislead or deceive. (Not that they are misleading or deceiving.) And sarcasm means the opposite of what is stated. So to be sarcastic about teaching somebody something really means to not be able to teach them something. You provide your own answers to this question in the other question: don't [can't] teach an old dog new tricks and don't [can't] teach your grandma to suck eggs. Jun 1, 2019 at 20:56
  • @Jason Bassford although they are two absolutely different topics and questions, I agree that they are so close that one can mistake them for one another! But, assuming that the previous thread's offers were the andwers to this question, why nobody brought them up here as a reply?! "Don't [can't] teach an old dog new tricks" and ldon't [can't] teach your grandma to suck eggs" are more about trying to teach someone something, while here I need to say something more about deceiving or misleading someone. Then please explain that to me how you see them identical?!
    – A-friend
    Jun 2, 2019 at 1:23
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    @A-friend You can't teach an old dog new tricks, so I'm immune to your deception. That's a perfectly good idiom to use in this context. These are all idioms, and idioms are seldom meant to be taken completely literally. They are often metaphors that are used figuratively and interpretatively. (If you can't teach somebody something to do something, you certainly can't deceive them into doing it.) Jun 2, 2019 at 1:56

3 Answers 3


We have many of those. Maybe one of these can help you:

"I wasn't born yesterday."

"I've been around the block a few times."

"I didn't just fall off the turnip truck yesterday." (actually I forgot which vegetable was mentioned in this one, -- maybe it was a tomato truck?)

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    +1 for "wasn't born yesterday". That's a very common way of expressing this.
    – J.R.
    Jun 1, 2019 at 18:48

Other idioms for this purpose:

  • I'm not still wet behind the ears.
  • I didn't wake up this morning and decide to be a mechanic. (or whatever profession is relevant)
  • I've been in this business a while.
  • I'm not green as grass. ("green" means "inexperienced" in this phrase -- it's an allusion to new fruit on a tree that is not near mature or ripe)

By the way, the passage formatted as a quote has some problems. Specifically:

  • "Let's think that you are" -- The standard idion would be "let's say that..."
  • "a car which has worked 120,000 miles" -- "worked" is not the usual verb for the distance that a car has been driven. "Gone" or "been driven" or - -"covered" or perhaps "traveled" are all more usual. "Moved" is also not a usual word for this use.
  • "You are enough experienced" -- this is ungrammatical. It should be "You are experienced enough"
  • "You open the car hood" -- "car" would normally be omitted, leaving just "You open the hood"
  • "... immediately realize that it is plain the car at least ... "realize" is redundant with "it is plain".
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    @A-friend the same is true for me as a native speaker, I have learned a good deal answering questions here. Jun 1, 2019 at 18:41

There are many "witty" comments that you can make if you want to make it clear that you think you are being cheated. This is generally called calling his bluff or uncovering his fraud. It is not a friendly response, regardless of the exact words; people don't want to do business with a liar.

If you what to continue the transaction but negotiate a lower price (a.k.a. haggle), you should probably use some more neutral phrase, such as

This car is not worth the price you want for it. I can offer you 2000 for it.

There must be a mistake in the ad. This car has made way more than 12,000 miles. Can I look at the odometer?

If you are playing poker with friends, or having another interaction where bluffing is acceptable, you can use the witty responses suggested in the other answers.


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