I have a problem but don’t know how to ask for help

There are lots of words that I could use here. Flummoxed, Stuck, Perplexed, Lost, etc.

But is there a word or short phrase that actually means (or is a good fit for): a situation where in attempting to solve a problem, due to a lack of understanding, big-picture-clarity or knowledge-of-subject-specific-terminology, you aren’t yet able to articulate/express the problem well enough to effectively seek or ask for help?

Person 1: Why don’t you just google it?

Person 2: Because I’m still [fundamentally stuck for reasons I don’t understand and can’t explain]

I have a few perfectly cromulent Geordie phrases for this but they are little known, and not appropriate for polite conversation.


Sounds like you are out of your depth.

This is used for a situation that is beyond one’s capabilities, which would cover your inability to do the job and also the inability to comprehend it enough to know where to turn for help or how to ask for it.

Similar phrases include “in above your head”, or “in over your head”.

Entering a field that is new is sometimes referred to as “uncharted territory” (or “uncharted waters” if you want to stick with the watery analogies). Although this is intended to mean an entirely new, undocumented area, in daily use it is often applied on an individual level (eg “this is uncharted territory for me”). An alternative version is “unexplored territory” if that sits better with the idea that documentation does exist for it and the individual could access that.

Evidently, we like water analogies for this kind of thing because an individual who lacks experience is described as “wet behind the ears“, or sometimes “green”.

Source : Link , Question Author : Brent Hackers , Answer Author : Astralbee

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