out at the elbows


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out at the elbows

Also, out at the heels or knees . Wearing clothes that are worn out or torn; poor. For example, When we last saw Phil he was out at the elbows. These expressions, dating from the late 1500s and early 1600s, can refer to clothes worn through at these points as well as to a person too poor to replace them.
See also: elbow, out

out at the elbows

1. Poorly dressed.
2. Lacking money.
See also: elbow, out