off the cuff


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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 senator 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 ?
And with a sample from the Off The Cuff record due to be used in a forthcoming dance music compilation, Karl is now looking forward to the Miami Music Conference in March.
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.
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.
The acceptance speeches varied greatly - Fisk's long and reflective, Perez's short and upbeat, Sparky's off the cuff like a midsummer visit to the manager's office.
He told Vatican Radio that Pope Benedict spoke off the cuff in Italian, "the common language of the popes".
Senior Sara Marsalis, who was all set to play drums for Issagholian's session, also made up a song off the cuff with her friends and recorded it on the bus Tuesday morning.
surely they're not planning their unscripted, off the cuff, 100 per cent genuine, highly-realistic arguments?
Relying on quick wit and spot-on comic timing, the Impromptones make up all their material, off the cuff and in harmony, no less.
In the impromptu segment, Parton's off the cuff answers had the audience in stitches and host Gary Chapman on the edge of his seat with his head in his hands.
The drama teacher was arrested and said to police: "It was an off the cuff remark made as a joke.
Speaking disjointedly and off the cuff, as always, he told the U.
That's when we come up with the off the cuff quips and great one-liners.
Paul McCartney says his new single, ``Young Boy,'' was written like one of the early Beatles tunes - ``quite quickly, quite easily and off the cuff.