out at the knees

out at the knees

1. Literally, 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 knees!
2. Quite poor; not having much or enough money. I was out at the knees for several years after college, just making enough money to pay for my rent and a couple of meals a day.
See also: knee, out