What does the idiom "for all I know" mean?

Although the meanings of the words in them do not make any sense when examined one by one, the word groups that are shaped according to the cultural roots of the language and that make sense as a whole are called idioms. for all I know meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "for all I know"


The phrase “for all I know” is an idiom that is used as a way of expressing uncertainty or doubt about something. It is usually used to refer to something that the speaker is not sure of, and has no idea about. In some cases, it can also be used to suggest that there may be more to something than what the speaker is aware of.


The phrase “for all I know” is believed to have originated in the early 19th century, when people would often use the phrase to express doubt or uncertainty. It is thought to have been derived from the phrase “for all I know of,” which is still sometimes used today. This phrase has been in use since the mid-1800s and was first used in print by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem The Skeleton in Armor (1841).


The phrase “for all I know” is often used to express uncertainty or a lack of knowledge when speaking about a particular subject. It is typically used in spoken English, but can also be used in writing. It is commonly used in conversations when the speaker is unsure of what they are saying, or when they are unsure of the answer to a question. It can also be used as a way of expressing doubt or skepticism about something.

Example Sentences

  • I don’t know who won the election – for all I know, it could have been a tie.
  • I’m not sure if I’ll get the job – for all I know, the position might have been filled already.
  • I don’t know what happened – for all I know, it could have been an accident.

The meanings of the words in the "for all I know" idiom

The Surprising Origins of Everyday English Idioms

Many English idioms have surprisingly dark origins, often rooted in violence, death, and superstition. For instance, the phrase "raining cats and dogs" is said to have originated in the 17th century, when heavy rain would often cause dead animals to wash up on the streets. Meanwhile, the idiom "rule of thumb" is believed to have originated from a law that allowed men to beat their wives with a stick no thicker than their thumb.


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