out at the elbows


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out at the elbows

1. Wearing shabby, worn out clothing (indicative of being poor). I think it's time to buy you some new clothes—you're out at the elbows!
2. Poor; not having much or enough money. I was out at the elbows for several years after college, just making enough money to pay for my rent and a couple of meals a day.
See also: elbow, out
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

out at the elbows

Also, out at the heels or knees . Wearing clothes that are worn out or torn; poor. For example, When we last saw Phil he was out at the elbows. These expressions, dating from the late 1500s and early 1600s, can refer to clothes worn through at these points as well as to a person too poor to replace them.
See also: elbow, out
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

out at elbows

wearing shabby or ragged clothing. dated
See also: elbow, out
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

out at the elbows

1. Poorly dressed.
2. Lacking money.
See also: elbow, out
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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