OUT OF POCKET: “of, pertaining to or requiring a cash expenditure: out of pocket expenses… [alternately] suffering from a financial loss: even after our payment, he is still out of pocket.” — New Oxford American Dictionary
In a few days, the Lexicide staff will be out of pocket for the Christmas holiday. Did you get that?
Sure you did. You understood that we’ve leveraged our corporate checking account to pay for all these gifts. Or perhaps the boss decided these expenses are not reimbursable, so we must pay for the gifts ourselves — i.e., with money out of our own pockets.
How out of pocket came to mean “unavailable” or “incommunicado” is an easy deduction. Boss schedules sales guy (or gal) to go on an out of pocket trip. Sales dude (or dudette) grouses to everyone about how he (or she) is out of pocket for the next week. Salesperson of indeterminate gender has inadvertently committed lexicide. Now you can be out of pocket even while on an expense account.
And who doesn’t want to be both unreachable and also holding the company Amex? Especially at this time of year? Merry Christmas, everyone. May your words be merry and right.
— Otto E. Mezzo