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  1. #1

    off the hook

    Hi teachers,

    Can you tell me what does "off the hook" means? It seems to have many different meanings. I just know it means "busy". I hear people use it quite often and can't understand what they really mean? How do u use it in a conversation? Pls show some examples. Thx.


  2. #2

    Re: off the hook

    Does "off the hook" in any way means "saved by the bell"?


  3. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #3

    Re: off the hook

    Quote Originally Posted by amigo
    Hi teachers,

    Can you tell me what does "off the hook" means? It seems to have many different meanings. I just know it means "busy". I hear people use it quite often and can't understand what they really mean? How do u use it in a conversation? Pls show some examples. Thx.

    If you call someone on the telephone, and you get a "busy" signal every time you dial, then there's a possibility that the phone is "off the hook", or off its cradle. That someone or something knocked the receiver off the phone.

    If you are in trouble, or have to do something you don't want to do, and something happens that has you no longer in trouble or no longer having to do the thing you didn't want to do, use "I'm off the hook". That idiom comes from fishing. When we fish, we use a hook, and when a fish bites the hook, it's in "trouble". To let the fish "off the hook" to throw it back into the water, is to save the fish's life.

    EXAMPLES
    John's going to drive us to the movies, so you're off the hook, Dad. You don't have to drive us.

    The police caught the real criminal, so that woman they arrested last week is off the hook. She doesn't have to go to jail.

  4. #4

    Re: off the hook

    After reading your reply,here is how I understand it:

    I went to a training course yesterday,all the topics and demos that it covered were much harder than i expected,thank god,they didn't require us to pass any exam before giving us a certificate of course completion. Whew..I'm off the hook.

  5. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #5

    Re: off the hook

    Quote Originally Posted by amigo
    After reading your reply,here is how I understand it:

    I went to a training course yesterday,all the topics and demos that it covered were much harder than i expected,thank god,they didn't require us to pass any exam before giving us a certificate of course completion. Whew..I'm off the hook.
    That's good, but with "off the hook" the implication is that you were at one time on the hook. If the seminar required you pass an exam, and then for some reason that requirement changed so you didn't have to write the exam, then using "off the hook" would sound more natural.

  6. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #6

    Re: off the hook

    Quote Originally Posted by amigo
    Does "off the hook" in any way means "saved by the bell"?

    To be saved by the bell is to be interrupted. For example, the teacher asks you to do something that you feel is embarrassing, like reading aloud to the entire class, and just as you stand to read, the school bell rings, saving you from having to do what you dread doing. The bell interrupted you, and so now you don't have to read aloud to the class. But that's not to say you're off the hook. The teacher might ask you to do it next class.

  7. #7

    Re: off the hook

    Thank you so much,Casiopea. I got it now.


  8. #8

    Re: off the hook

    Quote Originally Posted by amigo
    Does "off the hook" in any way means "saved by the bell"?

    Off the hook has also two other meaning:

    when something or someone is great, wonderful, terrific... beyond words, you can use the phrase Off the hook. It's slang but it's used quite a bit.

    ex.

    Hey, look at that girl...the way she walks, the way she talks...man, she is off the hook!

    off the hook can also describe a person who is crazy, ill tempered.
    It would be similar to "fly off the handle" or "go off the deep end"- meaning acting crazy, nuts.

    saved by the bell...I thought it means to be saved at the nick of time, Casiopea?...?


    • Join Date: Apr 2004
    • Posts: 1,814
    #9

    Re: off the hook

    http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~wrader/slang/o.html

    Your examples are new ones on me.

    Thank you, Marylin.

  9. #10

    Re: off the hook

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~wrader/slang/o.html

    Your examples are new ones on me.

    Thank you, Marylin.
    You are very welcome.

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