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MLS English Language Program

Davis Square

402 A Highland Avenue, Suite I

Somerville, MA 02144  United States of America

© 2019 by James Doyle


No Shit, Sherlock

This is a fun and informal expression which some people use when:

1. they are happy to receive payment

2. they express a need to make money 

3. they gamble (If used while gambling, it is said for good luck.) 


John:     “This is a great casino!”

Mary:    “Yeah, what do you want to do first?”

John:     “How about the craps table?”

Mary:    “Great! Here, blow on my dice for good luck!

                   Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

English has many convenient expressions.

These expressions are usually used in speaking.

One expression is: “No shit, Sherlock!”

This is an informal and amusing expression

which some people use when they respond to 

another person's observation if the observation

is ridiculous because it is highly obvious.

This expression references Sherlock Holmes, the great

fictional detective known for his keen observations,

thereby mocking the observer.


This expression is effective due to the use of alliteration

with the “sh” in “shit” and the “sh” in “Sherlock.”

“No shit” is a related expression with the same meaning. 



John: “I think maybe Paula is pregnant.”

Mary: “No shit, Sherlock!

              Of course she's pregnant!

              Look at her stomach!”

What do you think?

Have you heard this expression before?

Does your language have a similar expression?