Yusuke
Beats me! Is totally same to I don't know? I heard "beats me" in a 80s movie but I've never heard it before. It's not used too much nowadays ?
Jun 29, 2019 6:11 PM
Answers · 4
Yusuke, yes, “beats me” means the basically the same as “I don’t know.” There is a bit of nuance: it sort of suggests “I have no idea and I could not even guess at the truth,” while “I don’t know” could imply “I don’t know for sure, but I have an educated guess at the answer.” It is a slang expression that has been around for decades, but it is still commonly used. You can use it nowadays and it won’t sound strange. It is more informal than “I don’t know.” Also, because it implies “I have no idea and cannot even form an educated guess,” don’t use it in a situation in which you don’t want to admit that.
June 29, 2019
It is about the same. I would "translate" it as "This puzzle is much too difficult for me to solve." That is, it is more like "I don't know the solution" than "I don't know the answer." It carries a feeling of being resigned, or being dismissive. When someone says "it beats me," it not only means "I don't know," it means "I don't really care, I'm not even going to try to figure it out." "What a stupid TV program." "You always say that. It beats me why you watch it every week if you don't like it." "Why doesn't Arizona observe daylight savings time?" "It beats me. They're just want to be different, maybe." "Why does Uncle Harry vote for that idiot politician?" "It beats me. Now, let's change the subject and move on."
June 30, 2019
It is still used, but probably more likely with people in their 40's and above.
June 29, 2019
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