As clear as mud

Not at all easy to understand.

Very difficult to understand:

His instructions were as clear as mud.

Cambridge Dictionary

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The expression “as clear as mud” is an idiomatic phrase that is used to describe something that is difficult to understand or confusing. Here are some key points about this expression:

  1. Lack of clarity: The phrase implies that the subject being referred to is not clear at all, but rather murky or confusing. It suggests that the information or situation is not easy to comprehend or decipher.

  2. Ambiguity: The expression can also suggest that the subject is ambiguous or unclear, with multiple possible interpretations or meanings, making it difficult to discern the intended message.

  3. Irony or sarcasm: The use of “clear as mud” can often be ironic or sarcastic, as it is used to highlight the lack of clarity or confusion in a situation, sometimes with a touch of humor or sarcasm.

  4. Common usage: “As clear as mud” is a common and widely understood idiomatic expression in English, used in various contexts, such as in everyday conversations, writing, and even in formal settings, to convey the idea that something is not easily understood.

  5. Negative connotation: The expression generally has a negative connotation, as it implies that the subject is not easily comprehensible or lacks clarity, which can be frustrating or annoying.

  6. Variations: There are some variations of the expression, such as “clear as mud in a fog,” which further emphasize the lack of clarity or difficulty in understanding the subject.

Overall, “as clear as mud” is an idiomatic expression that is used to describe something that is confusing, ambiguous, or not easily understood, often with a touch of irony or sarcasm.

More example sentences

‘what the statement really means is still as clear as mud’
‘As I suspected, all is clear as mud at this point.’
‘The next steps are clear as mud.’
‘The strangely murky waters of the UK’s broadband market were stirred up once again last week, making things clear as mud, as usual.’
‘It was just clear as mud to me, and I was hoping you could help me with it later on.’
‘On the flip side, some parts of the plot that aren’t explained still seem to be vital to the story, so several chapters are clear as mud.’

Oxford Dictionary

1 KBV-953 The Real Mr Bates Speaks On BBC Breakfast about Post Office Scandal & The TV Dramatisation

2 Mr Bates vs The Post Office: The Real Select Committee – Nadhim Zahawi & Paula Vennells

Back to menu  IMPORTANT CONTENT  Listening recommended  Must ***

4 jan 2024

Footage from ITV’s Mr Bates vs The Post Office is followed by the full exchange between Nadhim Zahawi and Paula Vennells at the real Select Committee hearing about the Post Office Horizon scandal on February 3, 2015.

Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee Hearing
Nadhim Zahawi MP
Paula Vennells
Angela Van Den Bogerd
Ian Henderson

The ITV drama combines Ron Warburton and Ian Henderson into one composite character, Bob Rutherford.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office © ITV Studios 2024

Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee Hearing © UK Parliament 2015

3 A “Lack Of Common Sense” To Believe Horizon Software Was “Error-Free”


11 apr 2024

Post Office scandal campaigner Lord Arbuthnot says it was a “lack of common sense” to believe the Horizon software was “error-free”.

This comes after a former managing director of the Post Office has said he understands the “anger and upset caused” after appearing to celebrate the conviction of a pregnant subpostmistress who was eventually jailed.

David Smith told the Horizon IT inquiry he acknowledged the “substantial distress” he had caused after telling the Post Office staff the result of Seema Misra’s trial was “brilliant news”.

Mrs Misra began running a Post Office in West Byfleet, Surrey, in 2005, but was suspended in 2008 after being accused of stealing £74,000.

Lord Arbuthnot says: “What on earth were they thinking about these people who they vetted as community leaders, suddenly turning into a bunch of criminals?”

4 Sasquatch caught on camera!

16 mrt. 2011

At the site of an accident people get a glimpse of the elusive Bigfoot, the Sasquatch, the brown Yeti… or just a man in a brown suit!
A presentation of JustForLaughsTV, the official Just For Laughs Gags YouTube channel. Home of the funniest, greatest, most amazing, most hilarious, win filled, comedy galore, hidden camera pranks in the world!

That’s the last straw

Current Page

The devil’s advocate

Struggling like a devil

A bridge too far

Slip through the