potluck(redirected from Potlucks)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
1. A situation or circumstance in which the outcome is uncertain but where one takes a chance in the hopes of achieving a fortunate or beneficial end result. (Used especially in the phrase "take pot luck.") I like to just take pot luck when I travel to new cities and try out whatever local establishments I happen upon. I love going into old antique stores. I know finding something worthwhile is just a bit of pot luck, but it's fun to see all the old things they have!
2. (More often "potluck.") A shared meal in which separate dishes are prepared and/or brought by different individuals; the food that is brought to such a meal. Primarily heard in US. Sarah and I are hosting a pot luck this Saturday, and you are both welcome to join us! Just bring something that we can all share! Potluck dinners are a great way for neighbors or groups of friends to spend time together or get to know each other better. We're just asking guests to bring a bit of pot-luck, nothing fancy!
take pot luck
To select blindly from the available options in the hopes of achieving a fortunate or beneficial end result. I like to just take pot luck when I travel to new cities and try out whatever local establishments I happen upon.
be pot luck
To be a casual meal in which nothing has been prepared in advance. (A potluck, when spelled as one word, is a shared meal in which separate dishes are prepared and/or brought by different individuals.) Primarily heard in US. I hope you can join us for dinner on Saturday—it'll be pot luck, so just bring something that we can all share!
Come to eat whatever happens to be served; also, take one's chances. For example, You're welcome to join us for supper but you'll have to take potluck, or When the flight was canceled, passengers had to take potluck on other airlines. This idiom alludes to accepting whatever happens to be in the cooking pot. [Second half of 1700s]
be pot luck
If you ask someone to have a meal at your house and you tell them it will be pot luck, you mean that you have not planned it or prepared any special food. Note: `Pot luck' is usually written as `potluck' in American English. `We'll just be casual and eat in the kitchen. It's just pot luck,' Moira said. `Hope you don't mind.' Note: A potluck is a meal at which different guests bring different parts of the meal.
take pot luck
COMMON If you take pot luck, you make a choice from what is available although you do not have any knowledge to help you. Note: `Pot luck' is usually written as `potluck' in American English. We'd take potluck at whatever restaurants might still be open. Just leave the highway, drive out into the country, pick on a small town and take pot luck. Note: You can say that something is pot luck when it is a matter of luck whether you get something good. The major stores change their products regularly, so finding good deals is pot luck. Note: You can also use pot-luck before a noun. Travel firms are offering great holidays on a pot-luck basis.
take pot lucktake a chance that whatever is available will prove to be good or acceptable.
The original idea behind the expression is of someone invited to an ordinary everyday family meal which will consist of whatever happens to be in the cooking pot that day.
take ˌpot ˈluck(informal) choose something or go somewhere without knowing very much about it, but hope that it will be good, pleasant, etc: ‘Did somebody recommend the hotel to you?’ ‘No, we just took pot luck. It was the first hotel in the brochure.’ ♢ You’re welcome to stay for supper, but you’ll have to take pot luck (= eat whatever is available).
Also, potluck. Describing whatever food may be available for or contributed to a meal. The term dates from the second half of the eighteenth century and can be used adjectivally, as in “We’re having a pot luck supper; bring whatever you want,” or as a noun “You’ll just have to take pot luck.” It alludes to whatever is in the cooking pot. It also has been used figuratively for taking one’s chances on issues other than food. For example, “With the snowstorm canceling all flights, you’ll just have to take pot luck on other means of transportation.”