off the cuff


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

off the cuff

Casually and spontaneously; without planning or preparation. (Hyphenated if used as an adjective before a noun.) I didn't have time to organize my thoughts, so I just spoke off the cuff. The president has become known for making off-the-cuff remarks that create controversy.
See also: cuff, off

off-the-cuff

Fig. spontaneous; without preparation or rehearsal. Her remarks were off-the-cuff, but very sensible. I'm not very good at making speeches off-the-cuff.

off the cuff

Impromptu, extemporaneous, as in His speech was entirely off the cuff. This term supposedly alludes to the practice of speakers making last-minute notes on the cuff of a shirtsleeve. [1930s]
See also: cuff, off

off-the-cuff

COMMON An off-the-cuff remark, speech or decision is one that was not planned or thought about before. I'm sorry — I didn't mean any offence. It was a flippant, off-the-cuff remark. She delivered a brilliant off-the-cuff speech completely without notes. This wasn't just an off-the-cuff decision. Note: If you say something off the cuff, you say it without planning it or thinking about it. Eisenman was speaking off the cuff, and it's possible that my tape recorder did not catch every last word. His remarks — apparently made off-the-cuff — have raised a storm of protest. Note: One explanation for this expression is that after-dinner speakers used to write notes on the cuffs of their shirts, to remind them of what to say. Another explanation is that in the early days of cinema, directors sometimes wrote notes on their cuffs during the filming of a scene, to remind them of what they wanted to say to the actors.

off the cuff

without preparation. informal
This expression refers to impromptu notes made on a speaker's shirt cuffs as an aid to memory.
See also: cuff, off

ˌoff the ˈcuff

without previous thought or preparation: I don’t know how you can stand up and give an after-dinner speech off the cuff like that.an off-the-cuff remarkThis expression refers to the fact that in the past, people sometimes used to write notes on their cuffs (= the end of a shirt sleeve at the wrist) to remind them what to say when they were speaking in public, etc.
See also: cuff, off

off the cuff

In an extemporaneous or informal manner.
See also: cuff, off
References in periodicals archive ?
Ellis Heritage French dupion satin dress with Swarovski crystal detailed waist, pounds 895 at Simply Stunning; Above: Phil Collins Bridal Heritage Vintage crystal organza, pounds 895; top left: satin organza dress by Bonny, pounds 995; top right: Ellis Heritage crystal organza, pounds 895 - all at Simply Stunning; Front cover picture: Ellis Heritage satin and feta mix with crystal seed pearl and diamante beading, from pounds 795; Out fit from Off the Cuff
Darren Murphy, Weoley Castle * I MISS my favourite broadcaster's ability to speak off the cuff, in a funny manner about anything and everything.
Off the Cuff has a choice of 300-plus waistcoat colours and designs, jackets and trousers from top hat and tails to the popular Edwardian square-cut jacket.
Ted did things off the cuff and he's the type o player people would pay to see now.
His track, Shake, under the name Off The Cuff, which he worked on with another Saltburn-based producer, Simon Lilliker, reached number one in the online download chart.
Logue and McCool were joined for the big occasion in Letterkenny by a host of names from the Country circuit with Kieran Mulligan, James Quinn, Brendan Quinn, Joe Moore, Greta Elkin, Sharon Nixon, Maria Boyle, Martin Boyle Katy Kane and Gareth Kirwan and Off the Cuff all lending their support as well as comedian Terence McKeague.
And yet now when I see him speak off the cuff and speak from his heart, whether it be at ground zero or whatever, those things all seem to have disappeared.
NOT as rocky as her Wanderlust live set - one of the albums of millennium year - Stateside songbird Nova's latest was recorded largely off the cuff in a cramped studio sandwiched between tour dates.
When I speak it's not planned, it's more from the heart, off the cuff, instinctive," he said.
It was not an intentional statement - I said it off the cuff and it was related to his stubbornness.
While I'm sure he said it off the cuff without thinking, I find it disgraceful.
The one week festival will feature Robert Mizzell and his band, Martin Cuffe and band, Logue and McCool, Thomas Maguire and Fhiona Ennis, the Virginian, Dermot Moriarty, Aileen Flanagan, Bernadette Heaney, John Dolan, Stevie McBrearty and the Off the Cuff band.