I see no ships


      • discourage someone
        Advise against engaging in a particular activity or task, cautioning that it will not result in any positive outcome or benefit

      • express disbelief or skepticism
        Used to express doubt or disbelief in response to a statement or claim

    Examples of I see no ships

    • The sailor stood on the shore, scanning the horizon for any sign of a passing ship. After hours of waiting, he sighed and said, "I see no ships."

      The idiom "I see no ships" is a metaphorical way of saying that the person has tried to find or achieve something but has been unsuccessful. In this example, the sailor is waiting for a ship to arrive, but none have come into view, making him say "I see no ships."

    • The job applicant sent out dozens of resumes, but received no responses. He grew increasingly frustrated and declared, "I see no jobs."

      The idiom "I see no jobs" is another way of saying that the person has not been able to find employment. The job applicant in this example has applied to many openings but has not received any offers, making him express his struggle with the phrase "I see no jobs."

    • The student studied tirelessly for the exam but could not remember a single answer. In despair, he exclaimed, "I see no answers."

      The idiom "I see no answers" is used to convey that the person has tried to find a solution to a problem but has been unsuccessful. In this instance, the student has prepared diligently for the test, but cannot recall any of the correct answers when faced with the questions, leading him to use the phrase "I see no answers."

    • The detective searched for clues at the crime scene, but found no evidence. As he left the scene, he said, "I see no leads."

      The expression "I see no leads" is a variation on the original idiom, but its meaning is similar. The detective in this scenario has combed through the scene, hoping to find some indication of the wrongdoer's identity, but has come up empty-handed, prompting him to use the phrase "I see no leads."

    • The sailor looked out at the ocean and exclaimed, "I see no ships!"

      The idiom "I see no ships" is used to express the feeling of being completely alone or isolated, just as a sailor would feel if there were no ships in sight on the open sea. It can be interpreted as a metaphor for not seeing any signs of progress, opportunity, or activity in a particular situation. Another way of saying it might be "I see nothing positive happening here at the moment."

    • The author spent hours at the library pouring over old books, but all she could say was, "I see no ships!"

      With a shift in context, this idiom can be applied to a situation where the person is searching for something specific, yet discovering nothing of value. It could imply that the individual is feeling discouraged and uncertain about the possibility of finding what they're looking for.

    • The explorer trudged through the thick jungle, hacking his way through the vines and vines with his machete, yet he uttered, "I see no ships!"

      Here, the idiom is used in a different environment, transporting the expression from the ocean into a lush, unsettled jungle. It could mean that the person isn't finding anything unexpected or fruitful during their expedition, thus starting to feel dejected and hopeless.

    • The detective scanned the crime scene, picking up tiny details and examining every piece of evidence, but all he kept saying was, "I see no ships!"

      In this scenario, "I see no ships" might signify that the detective is unable to deduce any useful insights or leads from the crime scene. It could imply that the person is growing increasingly frustrated with being unable to solve the case.


    The idiom "I see no ships" can be used to discourage someone from pursuing a particular course of action or to express doubt or skepticism about a statement or claim.

    Origin of "I see no ships"

    The origin of the idiom "I see no ships" can be traced back to a famous historical event. In 1801, during the Battle of Copenhagen, Admiral Horatio Nelson was given a signal to withdraw his fleet from the battle. However, Nelson, who was known for his bold and daring tactics, famously put his telescope to his blind eye and declared, "I see no ships." This bold move ultimately led to a decisive victory for the British fleet.

    The idiom "I see no ships" is often used to convey a sense of disbelief or skepticism, harkening back to Nelson's defiant act at the Battle of Copenhagen. It has since become a popular phrase in English language to express doubt or to discourage someone from pursuing a particular course of action.