• This is from Random House, the dictionary publisher...... The phrase out of pocket also means 'out of place; out of order', and often describes unacceptable behavior or situations. This meaning has its roots in Black English of the 1940s, and refers to the pockets on a pool table. An example from a recent edition of The Los Angeles Times: "Any outsider who would attempt to engage in that conversation would be out of pocket." They have a LOT more to say about it on this link.....
  • I've always taken or used the phrase as the person is absent. Not accessable immediatly or anytime soon. I took it in the idea that out of pocket as in not able to reach in your pocket and pull it out and it be there type of meaning. If not in your hand but in your pocket would mean the person isn't right next to you but you will get them, the phrase explaining you can't get them nor are they right thier is my understanding I've developed on my own.
  • The phrase "out of pocket" originally referred to having to spend one's own money, like "I paid for the medication out of pocket because my insurance wouldn't cover it." Then office drones somehow started using it to mean "I won't be available," which really makes no sense.
  • 1. requiring somebody to spend cash: describes expenses paid for with cash 2. having no money: out of money money that you spend on things such as food and travel while you are working for someone else "All out-of-pocket expenses will be reimbursed by the company." 1. Without funds or assets: a traveler who was caught out of pocket. 2. In a state of having experienced a loss, especially a financial one. out-of-pocket: 1. Calling for the spending of cash: out-of-pocket expenses. 2. Lacking funds: hungry, cold, and out-of-pocket travelers. "Out of pocket" is indeed usually used as a sort of shorthand for "paying out of one's own pocket that which should (and usually ultimately will) be paid by someone else." Interestingly, the original sense of "out of pocket" when it first appeared around 1693 was not so hopeful. It meant to be either "broke" or "the loser in a financial transaction." Around 1974 "out of pocket" also started being used to mean "out of touch" or "unavailable." No one seems to know exactly why this sense arose or what the "pocket" in this case might be. Personally, I suspect that it's a bad translation of some French phrase. In any case, this sense of "out of pocket" is not, as far as I can tell, widely used. A more common phrase meaning the same thing is "out of the loop," which first appeared around 1983 and is probably rooted in computer terminology.
  • Items in your pocket (such as car keys) are immediately available if needed. "Out of pocket" in the sense of someone travelling, means they are often not immediately available if needed, say, for a meeting or phone call.
  • Spending your own money, possibly being reimbursed later. +3

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