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what were you thinking?

This page is about the conversational phrase what were you thinking?

Meaning

You can say this if someone's done something silly or made a mistake.

For example

  • "I got arrested for drunk driving."
    "What were you thinking? You knew the cops would be out on Saturday night!"

  • "I've lost all my money! I put everything I had into that company."
    "What were you thinking? I told you to spread your investments around, Dad!"

Quick Quiz

If someone says "What were you thinking?", you must have

a. said something interesting

b. done the wrong thing

c. been thinking clearly

Contributor: Matt Errey