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    #1

    Live from hand to mouth

    Hello everyone!

    There is this prase "(live) from hand to mouth" that means that one is really hard up and can satisfy only immediate needs because of lack of money. Is it used in modern English and what is more importnat is it used in the USA?? Are there any other similar idioms that are common in everyday speech in America?

    Thank you.

  1. The Maltese Falcon's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Live from hand to mouth

    Yes it is used in Modern English and it is something which you hear quite a lot! Here's a song by one of my favourite bands that uses this idiom in the lyrics:

    As for similar idioms, I can think of two: 'making ends meet', and 'keeping my head above water'.

    I hope this helps!
    TMF

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    #3

    Re: Live from hand to mouth

    Great. Thank you very much.

    Funny enough, in Russian there is exactly the same idiom about making ends meet.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Live from hand to mouth

    Yes, it's used in current BrE. We also use "[just about] making ends meet" and "living/being on the bread line". The official term these days seems to be simply "to be in poverty" or "to be living on/below the poverty line".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: Live from hand to mouth

    "From paycheck to paycheck" is common (though it's a bit better than living hand-to-mouth).

  3. probus's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Live from hand to mouth

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "From paycheck to paycheck" is common (though it's a bit better than living hand-to-mouth).
    Living paycheck to paycheck is one thing. If I live paycheck to paycheck, I go to the supermarket on payday and buy a week's worth of food and hope I have enough left over for rent. Living hand to mouth is much worse. It implies sometimes not having money for today's food or to feed your children, and probably being in the grip of the "payday loan" sharks.

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    #7

    Re: Live from hand to mouth

    Yes, that's why I said it's a bit better.

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Live from hand to mouth

    There's also keeping the wolf from the door.

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