wet behind the ears

wet behind the ears

Meaning

  • immature or poor skill
  • to be inexperienced
  • to be new at something or somewhere and so lack the necessary experience

Example Sentences

  1. From the way the soldier handled the gun, everyone could tell that he was wet behind the ears.
  2. The new salesman’s amateur techniques proved to everybody at the meeting that he was wet behind the ears.
  3. There is nothing wrong with appearing to be wet behind the ears; it is a process every new person to an organisation has to go through.
  4. Matthew’s inability to contribute to the topic at hand showed he was wet behind the ears when it comes to marketing.
  5. When it comes to making a first time impression, it can be embarrassing to be seen as being wet behind the ears.

Origin

This phrase originated from the birthing process of farm animals. When the calf is born, it is covered all over by blood. As it dries out, every other part of the body will be dried except the patch behind the ears. So the phrase came to be synonymous to new-borns and evolved to be used in everyday terms to refer to someone who is new at something or new somewhere.

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