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The lights are on but nobody’s home

Submitted by xy on 2022-08-28
  • Idiom: The lights are on but nobody’s home
  • Language: English
  • Explained meaning: English
  • Lyrics containing the idiom: 10 lyrics

Meanings of "The lights are on but ..."


It is used to describe a stupid person ,refers to a person who is not very bright, a daydreamer, a person whose mind is elsewhere an otherwise intelligent person who is not using their brain, someone who is not at all alert, something that you say when you think someone is stupid, when someone does not react because they are thinking about something else, have a brain, but not using it.

It is said in a way to tell someone that they lack awareness or intelligence.

“No matter how hard I try to understand what Jim is talking about, it is apparent that his lights are on but nobody is home.”

Originated in America, people have been using this idiom since at least the 1970s. The phrase first appeared in print in 1974, in Jason A. Colquitt’s book Organizational Behavior.

Explained by xyxy on Sun, 28/08/2022 - 04:01
Explained by xyxy

"The lights are on ..." in lyrics

Linkin Park - Talking to Myself

[1st Verse:]
Tell me what I gotta do,
there's no getting through to you.
The lights are on, but nobody's home.

Self Deception - Stockholm Hearts

[Verse 1]
Drunk and unhappy I’m weaving myself my way through the crowd
Dragging around everything that's been keeping me down
St. Erik, he lives in the walls and he's following me around

Mindless Self Indulgence - Ass Backwards

[Chantal Claret]
Hello Children! Would you like to hear a story?
Well okay then. Let me tell you the story about

Radiohead - Morning Bell

Walking walking walking…

The lights are on but nobody’s at home
Everybody wants to be a

Bad Religion - My Sanity

When the world has gone mad and there's nowhere to roam
The lights are all on but nobody's home
There comes a time when you look up to the sky
And ask "why do my favourite songs always make me cry?"

Hannah (Estonia) - Shadow On The Wall

Rush hour a soft summer rain
Some things never change
When I’m home the lights are on but nobody’s there
I guess it’s gonna take some time

Mr. Strange - The Wonderful World of Weird

Welcome, I'm Strange,
Lost and deranged,
This is my world,
The Wonderful world of weird!

James LaBrie - This Is War

Tell me what are you trying to prove
Spreading lies spinning stories
What gain do you get from all of this
Is it fame is it glory

Riot - Black Leather and Glittering Steel

We drank 'till the sunrise
Rode away singin' Johnny's back again
maybe I'm wrong - maybe I've really just been away too long

Barenaked Ladies - Crazy

I climb the walls of my mind just like I'm climbing on a jungle gym
I am more than content with the
state of mind I am in
'cause I am crazy just like you