Re: Been out of pocket............
posted at 12/27/2011 4:33 PM EST
First time that I ever heard someone use the phrase "Out of pocket"
: OUT OF POCKET - "Used in the Southwest for 'absent, unavailable.' 'I'll be out of pocket awhile, but I'll call you as soon as I can." : : : : : In the UK 'out of pocket' means that you have paid out for something and not had an equivalent return, such as paying for business expenses and your boss not giving back to you what you actually paid out.
: : : : An equivalent UK phrase for not feeling or functioning up to par would be "out of sorts". As has been mentioned above, over here, "out of pocket" exclusively refers to having been left at a financial disadvantage.
: : : ... around 1974 "out of pocket" also started being used to mean "out of touch" or "unavailable." No one seems to know exactly why this sense arose or what the "pocket" in this case might be. Personally, I suspect that it's a bad translation of some French phrase. In any case, this sense of "out of pocket" is not, as far as I can tell, widely used. A more common phrase meaning the same thing is "out of the loop," which first appeared around 1983 and is probably rooted in computer terminology.
: : : From The Word Detective (Jan 20, 2000)
: : : ... *out of pocket* has come to mean 'unreachable, absent, unavailable'. Lurking on the Internet discussion group "alt.usage.english," I'm convinced that this "newer" meaning is at least 25 years old, originally not too common, but now increasingly used over a wide area. In fact the *Dictionary of American Regional English* promises *out of pocket* as a "coming attraction" in the forthcoming Volume IV. Their draft entry is labeled "Chiefly South and South Midland," a regional distribution that includes southern states (such as Georgia and Alabama), and states just above this region (such as Tennessee and Kentucky). However, I would add that *out of pocket* is also used in Hawaii (thank you!), on the West Coast, in the Midwest and West (especially in Texas), and even in the Northeast (such as in the financial districts of New York City). ...
: : : The phrase *out of pocket* also means 'out of place; out of order', and often describes unacceptable behavior or situations. This meaning has its roots in Black English of the 1940s, and refers to the pockets on a pool table. An example from a recent edition of *The Los Angeles Times*: "Any outsider who would attempt to engage in that conversation would be out of pocket."