Out of Pocket

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 25 08:04:43 UTC 2008

I've always assumed that "in the wind" was merely BE slang clipped
from '50's _get in the wind_ "leave, go." It was "standard" in Saint
Louis in the 'Fit-tizz. NYPD cops use it, too, according to the
writers of LawNOrder. I'm totally unfamiliar with "in the air," except
as a clip of "In The Air Tonight." You know: that song by that guy?

WRT "out of pocket," I'm with David and Larry. I had no idea at all
that it had any other meaning before reading David's post.


On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 2:27 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Out of Pocket
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 1:52 PM -0400 10/24/08, David Metevia wrote:
>>I usually associate this phrase with expenses, specifically health care
>>expenses not covered by insurance.  However, I hear both work colleagues
>>and friends & family use the term to describe people who are unavailable
>>(under the weather, out sick, or just incommunicado).  This sounds
>>strange to me.
> --to me too. I only know the 'not covered by insurance' sense.   But
> this reminds me of a semantically related expression I had meant to
> ask about.  In two different series, detectives working for the LAPD
> refer to those people--suspects, witnesses, potential victims,
> whatever--who have intentionally made themselves hard to find (not
> necessarily on the lam) as being "in the wind" (in Michael Connelly
> novels) or "in the air" (in Jonathan Kellerman novels).  "Rabbiting"
> is also used for this activity, which I think I've seen elsewhere,
> but I only know "in the wind/air" from these two sources.  Is this
> general to LA, California, or detectives?  Is there an isogloss that
> cuts through the LAPD detective squad distinguishing the two
> expressions, or are they in free idiosyncratic variation?  Inquiring
> minds--well, this one, anyway--want to know.
> LH
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