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    #1

    "out of the woods"

    Is the idiom "out of the woods" the same as "out of the wood".

    I would like to know whether the "s" is essential.
    thanks

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "out of the woods"

    Quote Originally Posted by kelvin123 View Post
    Is the idiom "out of the woods" the same as "out of the wood".

    I would like to know whether the "s" is essential.
    thanks
    They both mean the same. The "s" is not necessary.

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    #3

    Re: "out of the woods"

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    They both mean the same. The "s" is not necessary.
    So, are you saying that woods and wood mean the same? To me wood is a piece of a tree, whereas woods is a forest.

    Saying "Out of the wood" is meaningless to me.

    I am not a teacher, though.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "out of the woods"

    Quote Originally Posted by Searching for language View Post
    So, are you saying that woods and wood mean the same? To me wood is a piece of a tree, whereas woods is a forest.

    Saying "Out of the wood" is meaningless to me.

    I am not a teacher, though.
    A "wood" is a small forest, bigger than a "spinney" or a "copse".

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    #5

    Re: "out of the woods"

    Ahhhhhh, the differences among the many ways of speaking what is all considered to be English!

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    #6

    Re: "out of the woods"

    In AmE, "out of the woods" is also an idiom to indicate that one has survived a dangerous situation.

    For example, a doctor might tell the parents of a premature infant: "His lungs have fully expanded and he's breathing on his own, but even though he's out of the woods, we're going to keep him in the Intentisive Care Unit for 24 more hours just to make sure everything is OK."

    Another example: Hans had managed to cross into West Germany from the East illegally in early 1989 and lived in fear that he would be discovered and imprisoned. He was finally out of the woods when the Berlin Wall was torn down later that year.

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    #7

    Re: "out of the woods"

    Quish......... the question was regarding the "s" on woods. In AmE, is either acceptable? I understand the meaning of the idiom.

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    #8

    Re: "out of the woods"

    Quote Originally Posted by Searching for language View Post
    Quish......... the question was regarding the "s" on woods. In AmE, is either acceptable? I understand the meaning of the idiom.
    I've never heard it without the /s/.

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    #9

    Re: "out of the woods"

    E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898. Out of the Wood. “You are not out of the wood yet,” not yet out of danger. “Don’t shout till you are out of the wood,” do not think yourself safe till you are quite clear of the threatened danger. When freebooters were masters of the forests no traveller was safe till he had got clear of their hunting ground.

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    #10

    Re: "out of the woods"

    COCA:

    021 entries for 'out of the wood'
    474 entries for 'out of the woods'

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