"out of pocket" (= not reachable)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jan 20 12:22:59 UTC 2002

At 4:19 PM -0500 1/20/02, sagehen wrote:
>Steve Boatti wrote:
>  >No one seems to remember that it originally meant "lacking money."
>Not "lacking money," just paying for it out of one's own resources, instead
>of on an expense account or qualifying for reimbursement.

exactly.  Sorry for not knowing any other senses, and for having
evidently forgotten completely about our earlier thread on the topic
from '96.  (Now where did I leave those brain cells?)

>That, to me, suggests a possible path of  development:  being on one's own
>-> being OFF on one's own -> being out of reach.
>A. Murie

Maybe, or maybe if the basic meaning is that one doesn't have a cell
phone (turned on), it really does allude to the phone being out of
one's pocket.  I still find it a puzzling metaphoric transfer, if
that's what it is.  But I'm (almost) positive that flushed-out
quarterbacks are not relevant.


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