oily

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the smell of an oily rag

A very meager, slim, or frugal amount of resources, especially money or fuel. As in the phrases "live off/on the smell of an oily rag" or "run off/on the smell of an oily rag," respectively. Primarily heard in Australia, New Zealand. I spent a year travelling abroad, and I lived on the smell of an oily rag to get by. This trusty little car may not look like much, but she runs on the smell of an oily rag.
See also: of, oily, rag, smell

run off smell of an oily rag

Of a motor vehicle, to operate with exceptionally good fuel efficiency. Primarily heard in Australia, New Zealand. This trusty little car may not look like much, but she runs off the smell of an oily rag.
See also: of, off, oily, rag, run, smell

run on the smell of an oily rag

Of a motor vehicle, to operate with exceptionally good fuel efficiency. Primarily heard in Australia, New Zealand. This trusty little car may not look like much, but she runs on the smell of an oily rag.
See also: of, oily, on, rag, run, smell

live off smell of an oily rag

To live very frugally, economically, or sparingly; to survive with very meager resources. Primarily heard in Australia, New Zealand. I spent a year travelling abroad, and I lived off smell of an oily rag to get by. We're going to have to live off smell of an oily rag now that we have a fourth baby on the way.
See also: live, of, off, oily, rag, smell

live on the smell of an oily rag

To live very frugally, economically, or sparingly; to survive with very meager resources. Primarily heard in Australia, New Zealand. I spent a year travelling abroad, and I lived on the smell of an oily rag to get by. We're going to have to live on the smell of an oily rag now that we have a fourth baby on the way.
See also: live, of, oily, on, rag, smell
References in periodicals archive ?
With Carmen's Facial Sauna you can thoroughly cleanse the oiliest part of your face the Tzone.
noted that the Oil Creek test well is the oiliest and gassiest well he has seen in his 38-year history as a widely experienced petroleum engineer and the log run is reporting excellent opportunity in several zones as he moves in completion equipment.
very oiliest of skin and is favoured by Gisele, Kylie and Cat Deeley.
He is the Tory bigwig who wrote the House of Cards trilogy, which was turned into a hit television series starring Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart, the oiliest, creepiest politician of them all.
5] vvCvvCC OILIEST vvCvCCv AUDIBLE vvCCvvC AUCTION vvCCCvv * AINTREE vvCCCCC EIGHTH[S.
resonated throughout the world when the oiliest Ewing took two bullets at the close of the 1979-80 season.
As one of the oiliest of our GOM peer group, notably in the range of 70%, we are uniquely positioned in this oil price advantaged commodity market to provide substantial value to our shareholders.