"Out of pocket" = "missing some money"?

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Mon Oct 27 13:30:28 UTC 2008

> I have always taken "out of pocket" to mean basically the same thing
> as "petty cash", not "missing (some) money".

I think "out of pocket" traditionally means/meant something like
"missing some money" when applied _to a person_, e.g., "Mr. X is out of

One can find hundreds and hundreds of examples at Google Books.

I did not mean to address any other similar expression ("out-of-pocket
expenses", "out-of-pocket shot [in billiards]", etc.).

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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