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in•ex•pe•ri•ence(ˌɪn ɪkˈspɪər i əns)
babe in the woods A naive, unsuspecting person; one easily duped or victimized. Attempts to trace the term to a popular pantomime story well-known in Norfolk, England, are unconvincing. The conventional figurative associations of both babe (innocence, ingenuousness) and woods (complexity, darkness) seem explanation enough; the phrase’s origin remains unknown.
first-of-May Novice, inexperienced, uninitiated. This expression dates back to the early part of this century when circuses toured the country throughout the late spring, summer, and fall. After the winter layover, the circus had to hire many new laborers and performers to assure that the tour would run smoothly and successfully. Generally, these people would be hired by the first of May so that they could be trained before the tour began; hence the expression first-of-May.
These first-of-May guys are a little off time. (R. L. Taylor, in The New Yorker, April 19, 1952)
greenhorn An unsophisticated, inexperienced, or naive person; a dupe or fall guy; an immigrant or newcomer, an uninformed person. In the 15th century greenhorn applied to a young ox whose horns had not yet matured. By the 1700s the word referred to a raw, inexperienced person, and not until the turn of the century did greenhorn mean ‘immigrant.’ Today the term is most often used contemptuously to refer to any novice or unsuspecting person.
I suppose you are not hoaxing us? It is, I know, sometimes thought allowable to take a greenhorn in. (Sir H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon’s Mines, 1885)
little Lord Fauntleroy A naive and unsophisticated child of gentle nature; an impeccably mannered and fastidiously dressed child. This eponym comes from the hero of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel Little Lord Fauntleroy (1885). It is usually employed in an ironic tone, as in the following:
Some little Lord Fauntleroy who had just found out there were rotters in the world. (D. Powell, Time to be Born, 1942)
Fauntleroy can also stand alone as an adjective describing a particular style of children’s dress or hair style popularized in the book.
Myself aged seven—thicklipped, Fauntleroy-haired. (Dylan Thomas, Letters, 1933)
live in cotton wool To be naive, to lead a sheltered, protected existence. Cotton wool or absorbent cotton is the kind used as padding or wadding. In this British colloquial expression it symbolizes insulation from the harsh realities of life. The phrase was used earlier as a metaphor for superfluous comfort or luxury—insulation, once again, from the difficulties of everyday life.
Letty would never be happy unless she lived in clover and cotton-wool. (Dinah M. Mulock, The Woman’s Kingdom, 1869)
low man on the totem pole See STATUS.
pigeon See VICTIMIZATION.
salad days See AGE.
tenderfoot A greenhorn, a novice; a raw, inexperienced person.
We saw a man in Sacramento when we were on our way here, who was a tenderfoot, or rawheel, or whatever you call ’em, who struck a pocket of gold. (American Speech, 1849)
This term originated in the American West where it was used to describe newcomers unaccustomed to the hardships of rugged life. It now applies to a person inexperienced in any area or endeavor.
wet behind the ears Immature, inexperienced, green; naïve, unsophisticated, innocent; also not dry behind the ears.
Married! You’re still wet behind the ears. (Ben Ames Williams, It’s a Free Country, 1945)
At birth most animals are literally wet from the amniotic fluid previously surrounding them. The recessed area behind the ears is one of the last to become dry.
They aren’t dry behind the ears, so to speak, but still believe in Santa Claus. (The Chicago Daily News, August, 1945)
|Noun||1.||inexperience - lack of experience and the knowledge and understanding derived from experience; "procedural inexperience created difficulties"; "their poor behavior was due to the rawness of the troops"|
ignorance - the lack of knowledge or education
experience - the accumulation of knowledge or skill that results from direct participation in events or activities; "a man of experience"; "experience is the best teacher"
"You cannot put an old head on young shoulders"