Friday, March 05, 2010

Cliché: off the cuff

Meaning: impromptu response; quick response with little thought (example 1, example 2)

Comment: There are two senses of this idiom. One is of the quick response to something, the "off the cuff remark." 

Rewrite 1: off the sunbeam
Rewrite 2: out of the clouds
Rewrite 3: brain spark

Another is the seeming impromptu response that is actually the result of more cunning thinking, the "off the cuff quote."

Rewrite 4: off the palm (notes in your palm)
Rewrite 5: off the ceiling (figuring in your head and looking at the ceiling while calculating)
Rewrite 6: one-eye count (a facial expression assumed while calculating)

The recast depends more on the sense you're using. How would you rewrite it?

Check out the searchable alphabetical list of my cliché rewrites with my archived list.

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