Out at (the) elbows

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British pronunciation/ˈaʊt at ðə ˈɛlbəʊz/
American pronunciation/ˈaʊt æt ðə ˈɛlboʊz/
out at (the) elbows
01

used to refer to someone who does not have enough money and is considered poor by the society's standards

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out at (the|) elbows definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "out at elbows" and when to use it?

This idiom is used to describe someone who is in a state of poverty or financial hardship, often visible through their worn-out or shabby appearance. It is used to to refer to someone who is experiencing financial hardship or poverty, and their appearance, particularly their worn-out or shabby clothing, reflects their lack of means to afford better attire.

02

(of a piece of clothing) looking shabby and worn-out

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What is the origin of the idiom "out at elbows" and when to use it?

The idiom "out at elbows" originated from the literal description of clothing that is worn-out and shabby, specifically referring to the elbows of a garment that have become visibly frayed or threadbare over time. It can be used to comment on the poor condition of someone's clothing.

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Example
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The charity aimed to provide assistance to families who were out at elbows due to unforeseen financial hardships.
His favorite pair of jeans became out at elbows after years of regular use, developing holes and signs of distress.
Despite his once prosperous background, he fell on hard times and was now out at the elbows, struggling to make ends meet.
The novel's protagonist started as a wealthy entrepreneur but, due to a series of unfortunate events, ended up out at elbows.
Despite his talent, the struggling artist lived out at the elbows, barely making ends meet.
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Definition & Meaning of "Out at (the|) elbows"
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