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    #1

    off the hook

    Hi

    I know what it means that a phone is off the hook, but do not know what it means when soemone says: It just takes you off the hook once again.

    Thanks

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: off the hook

    When a person is taken "off the hook," it means that he is blameless, or cannot be accused of a particular crime, event, incident.

    "The boss is trying to find out who left the coffee maker on all weekend and caused that small fire in the cafeteria."
    "Well, I'm off the hook because I was out of town at the time."

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: off the hook

    Yes, the appropriate metaphor is not the phone, but the fish hook.

    Only a fish with a hook in its mouth can be reeled in. If you reel in a fish and throw it back (to live another day) you took it "off the hook."

    So if you're off the hook, you're not the one in trouble.

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    #4

    Re: off the hook

    "Getting hooked" is getting caught, much like a fish is caught on a hook.

    So getting "off the hook" is to be released.

    He got off the hook for the speeding ticket by claiming he had an emergency.

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    #5

    Re: off the hook

    Being "off the hook" does not only refer to being blameless. It can also refer to being able to avoid a request, responsibility or obligation.
    For example, it's Friday afternoon and the boss needs someone to work on the weekend. No one has volunteered so far and the boss may just have to choose someone. You are off the hook because you are flying out to your brother's wedding this evening.

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