We have a new foreign employee and she said:

"Ich habe keine blasse Ahnung."

We thought it was a mix of blasser Schimmerund leiseste Ahnung and was done because she is foreign. But she said it was something she looked up. So we looked it up in PONS and there it is.

Now we are wondering is this really used by native speakers and maybe in which region of Germany it might be common. Because we never heard of it here (Ruhr-area, Lower-Rhine-area)

  • 2
    @tofro or compare both, Ahnung vs. Schimmer: books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Stephie
    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:37
  • English and Dutch have, btw. similar constructs (flauw idee, faint idea)
    – tofro
    Apr 6, 2018 at 12:55
  • @tofro: die Ausdrücke gibt es, aber "faint" und "flauw" bedeuten beide eher "schwach", "flau" und nicht "blass". "Blass" wäre "pale" oder "bleek". Apr 6, 2018 at 18:44
  • 1
    I live in the Ruhrgebiet and I have heard both "keinen blassen Schimmer" and "keine blasse Ahnung" here and on TV. I don't think it is regional. Apr 6, 2018 at 18:52
  • 1
    Not very representative, but I use that expression quite a lot. Apr 7, 2018 at 12:09

2 Answers 2


Duden Volume 2 – Das Stilwörterbuch (2010) includes „er hat keine blasse Ahnung“ among other similar expressions:

er hat kaum eine, [absolut] keine, keine blasse, nicht die geringste/leiseste/mindeste/entfernteste Ahnung von Mathematik

This entry has no special style or usage labels. Therefore, it may be considered normal language or neutral in style.


To answer your question whether it is used by native speakers (I'm from Munich): I never heard of "blasse Ahnung", but the other ones are quite common, I use them, too.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.