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fall off the back of a lorry

Of goods or merchandise, to be acquired by illegal or dubious means; to come into (someone's) possession without being paid for. Primarily heard in UK. Danny says he has several laptops and smartphones he wants to sell for cheap—sounds like they fell off the back of a lorry to me.
See also: back, fall, lorry, of, off

off the back of a lorry

Likely by illegal or dubious means. Said of the way something has been gotten. The American equivalent is "off the back of a truck." Primarily heard in UK. A: "Jake's been peddling a bunch of flat screens for a great price." A: "He probably got them off the back of a lorry. I wouldn't go for them, if I were you." Danny says he has several laptops and smartphones he wants to sell for cheap—sounds like they fell off the back of a lorry to me.
See also: back, lorry, of, off

fall off a lorry

Of goods or merchandise, to be acquired by illegal or dubious means; to come into (someone's) possession without being paid for. Primarily heard in UK. Danny says he has several laptops and smart phones he wants to sell for cheap—sounds like they fell off a lorry to me.
See also: fall, lorry, off

fall off the back of a lorry

BRITISH, INFORMAL
If you say that goods have fallen off the back of a lorry, you mean that they are stolen goods. We bought some really excellent wine from a woman who clearly caught the bottles as they fell off the back of a lorry. Note: You can also say that you got or bought something off the back of a lorry. Pete once bought the boys a bicycle cheap off the back of a lorry.
See also: back, fall, lorry, of, off

fall off (the back of) a lorry

(of goods) be acquired in illegal or unspecified circumstances.
The traditional bogus excuse given to the police by someone caught in possession of stolen goods was that the items in question had ‘fallen off the back of a lorry’.
1991 Time Out People buy so much stolen stuff that…you can…buy a video in Dixons and take it round the corner to a pub, say it fell off the back of a lorry and get 50 quid more than it cost you.
See also: fall, lorry, off

off the ˌback of a ˈlorry

(British English, informal, humorous) goods that fell off the back of a lorry were probably stolen. People say or accept that they came ‘off the back of a lorry’ to avoid saying or asking where they really came from: Where did you get a new DVD player at a price like that? Off the back of a lorry?
See also: back, lorry, of, off
References in periodicals archive ?
However, human drivers will still steer all the lorries in the convoy.
He said, if the lorries were introduced, the region's economy would suffer because of them not being able to use the tunnel.
We say that despite all of the imperfections of the lorry-charging scheme as presently designed, it would have delivered the crucial benefit of providing a structure for the potential reduction of fuel duty for lorries.
Almost 292,000 of the lorries with goods passed the Svinesund Customs office at the border between Norway and Sweden.
17,793 coaches 12,413 coaches + 43% Freight shuttles 112,649 lorries 67,349 lorries + 67% Eurostar 1,234,680 passengers 1,333,512 passengers - 7% Rail freight 468,535 tons 438,944 tons + 7%
A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said: "Emergency Services attended a road traffic collision on the M4 westbound at junction 30 Cardiff Gate involving three HGV lorries this morning.
Be aware that all lorries based within the EU are restricted to driving at 56mph, so their speed is relatively predictable.
Prosecutor Simon Hunka said the men had conspired to steal from curtain-sided lorries by slicing open the curtains and taking goods from inside.
If they only run for 12 hours a day, there would be twice as many lorries on the road at night - and everything would cost a lot more.
The two lorries go along for may be ten minutes side by side, blocking most of the motorway for most of the traffic.
I went off to meet the lorry drivers, and started taking random photos of lorries in lay-bys.
It's not the first time Annette and Chris Blythe's home has fallen foul of lorries getting stuck on Ballroyd Lane in Longwood.
He said motorists sometimes tried to overtake articulated lorries on roundabouts without appreciating that as the lorry turned towards the right the trailer would reduce the width of road available.
The theft of lorries in the West Midlands has nearly doubled in the past year at a cost of tens of millions of pounds to business and industry.
The European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers did not reach an agreement at the Conciliation Committee held on November 11 to discuss the question of ecopoints applicable to lorries travelling through Austria.