Currently reading this article, at the 5th paragraph,

“I made a point of not looking directly at anybody,” said Amayo, a Montreal native who grew up in New Jersey. “I don’t want to say it was scary, but it was definitely uncomfortable. You can’t put nothing past nobody. You don’t know what people are thinking.”

I googled "put nothing past nobody" and this page came up, saying,

You are correct. "...she really put nothing past Teresa." does mean that nothing Teresa could do would surprise Kate.

But when instead of Teresa but nobody? In addition to it,(from the same page)

Literally, putting something past a person is offering them a choice. I agree with JamesM on what the expression means here.

So when putting nothing past nobody is offering nobody no choice?

I am sorry I got totally perplexed.

Kindly support me and thanks in advance.


1 Answer 1


"You can't put nothing past nobody" is more of an idiomatic thing, rather than a strictly grammatically correct thing. It's sort of like "We don't need no education" to mean "We don't need any education".

That being said, "You can't put nothing past nobody" is essentially equivalent to "You can't put anything past anybody".

According to Collins

If you say that you would not put it past someone to do something bad, you mean that you would not be surprised if they did it because you think their character is bad.

In the context of the phrase, Amayo means that he wouldn't be surprised if someone ("Nobody") did something bad ("Nothing"), eg. murder, because of someone else doing something relatively harmless, like staring them in the face.

  • Thanks for the reply!. But I am sorry I don't get who "someone else" is and continuing "doing something relatively harmless...". Anyway thank you!.
    – user17814
    Commented Jan 5, 2020 at 9:08
  • 1
    @KentaroDonatesForMonica The 'someone else' would refer to Amayo, in this case. Imagine if you're looking at a person, and he notices you and because of this, he pulls out a gun and shoots you. Amayo is saying that he wouldn't put it past a person to shoot someone, despite the other person not having done anything wrong. Commented Jan 5, 2020 at 9:11
  • Oh, thanks. I now really understand. Much appreciation with you.
    – user17814
    Commented Jan 5, 2020 at 9:17

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