can't do anything with

Unable to cope with or manage someone or something. For example, I can't do anything with my hair, or My teenage daughter is very difficult—I can't do anything with her. This expression uses do in the sense of “deal with,” a usage dating from the early 1500s.


Nearby words

  1. can tho,
  2. can't,
  3. can't abide,
  4. can't but,
  5. can't complain,
  6. can't fight city hall,
  7. can't help,
  8. can't hit the broad side of a barn,
  9. can't hold a candle to,
  10. can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.