Is there a word for “that’s not my fault”?

Sometimes it’s easy to be associated with something negative, but it is not your fault but the wrongly association. Would the word innocent describe it correctly?

Let me give a more vivid example for better understanding. Suppose you were walking down the sidewalk, and all of the sudden, the car besides you started to sound the alarm sound. Out rushed a big fellow, and since you are the only one around the car, he shouted at you “what have you done to my car?”. This is a fake example (what’s the better word for fake here?), but illustrates my point very well.

I’m thinking “I’m innocent” does not quite describe the situation, does it? And not even “that’s not my fault”; “It has nothing to do with me” would be more appropriate. Is there any words or phrases that is suitable for such situation?

  • I’m not sure you’ll find anything shorter than “(it) wasn’t me.” As for your parenthetical question, you could say “this is (a) fiction(al example)”. Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 16:30
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    The gesture of showing both palms raised near the shoulders could accompany this declaration of innocence, or even stand in its place. Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 16:39
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    @Tyler - Spot on. As a matter of fact, earlier this year, I was leaving a crowded stadium after a sporting event. There was a couple in front of us; he gave her a quick caress, and I overheard her say, "Somebody's touching my butt; it had better be you." As they turned around, I made that exact gesture, and said, "Wasn't me." We all had a good laugh over it.
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 16:52

5 Answers 5


"I'm innocent" seems to imply that you are involved, but it works well. As for "culpable", which was given in a different answer, it is a bit unused in normal conversation, and may not be understood by some people. Personally, I would either say "I didn't do it" or "I'm innocent".

  • I think the fact that a word is slightly unused in normal conversation and that it may not be understood by some people is all the more reason to use the word!! I try to encourage broader vocabularies whenever I can ;)
    – jbowman
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 19:57

Since you asked for a word, I'll give you a word: culpable. CDO defines it as:

culpable (adjective) formal deserving to be blamed or considered responsible for something bad

A synonym would be blameworthy.

I'll admit, though: I like how the dictionary labels that word as formal. Even though the word means exactly what you want it to mean, it's probably not a word I'd use in your contrived scenario. As others have said, I would probably say something more along the lines of:

I didn't do anything!
It wasn't my fault!

or even:

I swear, it was just a coincidence.

The word culpable is usually reserved for more formal contexts like this one:

Just because she was physically absent when the murders took place did not mean that she was not culpable. (Ken Englade, Beyond Reason, 2011)

  • Err... "I'm not blameworthy."? Why not simply say "I'm blameless."?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 23:01
  • @Pace - Sure, you could say that. Personally, I'd prefer, "I'm not to blame" over either of those options. ("I'm not to blame" seems to apply more to the situation at hand, while "I'm blameless" seems to connote some long-term measure of infallibility.) That said, blameless could still be used quite effectively, if the wording is right. For instance, I like this example dictionary sentence: It was ​mainly my ​fault, but she wasn't ​entirely blameless (CDO).
    – J.R.
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 9:34

How about: "blameless"?

It is a slightly stronger statement.

(I originally submitted the first sentence along, but the answer was rejected for not being at least 30 characters - what is the bias against brevity here?)

  • It's not a bias against brevity, it's a bias toward fleshing out answers by providing supporting evidence, such as sample usages from literature, or dictionary definitions that confirm the word you are suggesting is indeed a good fit.
    – J.R.
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 9:39

I'd answer, "Not me!" It's technically incorrect grammar, as WendiKidd noted, but it's absolutely idiomatic and will be understood unambiguously.

This is a fake example (what’s the better word for fake here?)

Constructed. Invented. Hypothetical.

You could also replace "example" with "scenario", e.g. "This is an invented scenario."


True, innocent binds you with its limitations though you are innocent in that case. Let me tell you my opinion.

This can be said in a various ways and there's no one word/phrase for that. Depending upon the situation, you can put yourself as an innocent because you did nothing. Some examples:

(Hey,) I did nothing!
It's not me!
It wasn't me! (Credit -Tyler)
I didn't do it! And so on...

As far as fake is concerned, you probably mean to say fictional or let me surmise a scene for you.

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    "It's not me" isn't correct here. I'm not sure exactly how to explain why, but it isn't right. "I did nothing" is correct, but I think more often you'd hear "I didn't do anything!" which of course means the same thing :)
    – WendiKidd
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 0:52
  • @WendiKidd You can doubt any suggestion like that because ultimately, there are many ways to express this. In fact, out of all, I vote It's not me! as this is the typical expressions we get especially in cases like - Your friend pokes you and hides behind me. You look at me angrily. I'd immediately say Hey, it's not me! There, I din' do anything does not make that good sense.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 4:17
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    I'm just telling you it's not standard English. In the case you described, "It wasn't me!" would be appropriate. "It's not me" doesn't make any sense (what isn't you?). "I didn't do anything" also works.
    – WendiKidd
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 12:35
  • Thanks everyone. All answers are good answers. Up voting for everyone!...
    – xpt
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 13:16

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