What does the expression ‘ out of pocket’ mean?


A friend of mine from New Jersey wrote me an email telling me about this new catch-phrase she had been hearing.

  • I am going to be out of pocket next week.
  • Don’t call me tomorrow. I will be out of pocket all day.


I had no idea what it meant in this context. I thought it could be a regional usage from the American East Coast or something to that effect.

I had heard the expression before when speaking about money or lack there of. It usually refers to losing money covering an expense — possibly an unexpected one, or one that someone else should perhaps have covered, or when you expected to make money, but lost it instead.
Upon researching it a little,  it just so happens that people are now using it to mean that you will not be reachable for a period of time. We can say it is is similar to being out of touch or unavailable.

So, next time you are out of the office with no internet access or in a situation that will not allow you to communicate all day, then you can say: ‘ I will be out of pocket all day tomorrow. Leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can.’



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