off the hook
Student or Learner
Does "off the hook" mean that they're freshly made or that they're a culinary novelty? The context doesn't clear that up for me. It's a party, the host is recommending food to guests.Did you try the gulab jamuns? They're off the hook.
off the hook
Ooooh, interesting. I've never heard "off the hook" in this context before!
We use "off the hook" as an idiom when we've been relieved of a duty or responsibility, or when we've got away with something or avoided the blame for something.
"My sister's home early so I'm off the hook: she can go and let the dog out instead; I don't need to do it."
"My mum found out that my brother was the one who scratched her car with his bike - I'm off the hook for that!"
A telephone can also be "off the hook" when it has an open connection and hasn't been hung up properly.
"I'm going to leave the phone off the hook while I have a bath so no-one can disturb me."
The only time I've heard "off the hook" relating to food is when fish is described as "fresh off the hook" meaning it has been caught not long ago. I just looked up gulab jamuns (don't they sound nice!) and it's not a fish dish, so it can't be that.
I'm intrigued now, can anyone tell us what this phrase means in this context?
Did you try the gulab jamuns? They're off the hook.
It is about informal English. Owing to that fact I see this as a wrong usage.
I'd say They are off a hook.
Last edited by e2e4; 07-Sep-2010 at 18:53.
It's from Flight of the Conchords, a comedy show.
Aren't FotC from New Zealand? Perhaps it's a very specific phrase over there?
Given the context, I think you must be right - but it's certainly something I've never heard before, and I can't help with which of the two meanings it might be.
How exciting! Yay for new phrases!
(Also, I love FotC, which episode is it? I might look it up on youtube and see if watching it offers any more insight.)