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"Ask No Questions And You'll Be Told No Lies"

Posted by Smokey Stover on July 10, 2006

In Reply to: "Ask No Questions And You'll Be Told No Lies" posted by David FG on July 10, 2006

: : : : The meaning of this proverb "Ask No Questions And You'll Be Told No Lies" and examples.

: : :
: : : Not sure it is a proverb, as such. It's meaning is fairly straightforward I think. It is generally used in circumstances in which the questioned activity is somehow 'shady' and it is being suggested that it would be better for the questioner not to know what exactly was happening.

: : : I seem to remember it is used in a poem (I have to confess I haven't checked so please forgive my failing memory) which goes something like:

: : : 'Them that asks no questions
: : : Don't get told no lies,
: : : So watch the wall my darling
: : : As the gentlemen go by'

: : : The 'gentlemen' in question being smugglers.

: : : DFG

: :
: : It's Rudyard Kipling's "Smuggler's Song". The exact text is:
: : them that asks no questions isn't told a lie. / Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!"

: Thank you. I wasn't too far wrong: my memory is still in there with a chance, then.

I think the archetypal form of the phrase in the U.S., at least as spoke by ὁι πολλοι, is "Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies." There are, I'm sure, plenty of variations to be heard in song and story.

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