live by/on (one's) wits

(redirected from live by her wits)

live by/on (one's) wits

To survive or make a living through one's intellect and resourcefulness. When I lost everything, I had to live by my wits, and it made me a stronger, more savvy person.
See also: by, live, on, wit

live by one's wits

Fig. to survive by being clever. When you're in the kind of business I'm in, you have to live by your wits. John was orphaned at the age of ten and grew up living by his wits.
See also: by, live, wit

live by one's wits

Manage by clever expedience rather than hard work or wealth. For example, Alan's never held a steady job but manages to live by his wits. This expression uses wits in the sense of "keen mental faculties." [c. 1600]
See also: by, live, wit

live by your wits

earn money by clever and sometimes dishonest means, having no regular occupation.
See also: by, live, wit

live by/on your ˈwits

earn money by clever or sometimes dishonest means: Patrick did not go to college, as expected, but learned to live very successfully on his wits.
See also: by, live, on, wit
References in periodicals archive ?
This latter feature eventually furnished teenaged Petit with a one-way ticket out of the school, which destroyed her dream of becoming a teacher and forced her to live by her wits and a frustrating series of low-paying jobs.
York didn't have anything like a normal adolescence, but she learned to live by her wits and gut in ways that have served her well as an artist trying to make a living in a notoriously tough biz.
This causes Becky to be completely ostracized, and she is forced to live by her wits on the Continent.