speak off the cuff

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speak off the cuff

To say something 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. You could tell she had been speaking off the cuff, because she couldn't properly answer the questions reporters asked her at the end of the conference.
See also: cuff, off, speak

speak off-the-cuff

Fig. to speak without preparing a speech; to speak extemporaneously; to render a spoken opinion or estimate. (As if one's notes had been written hastily on one's cuff.) she is capable of making sense and being convincing even when she speaks off—the-cuff. I find it very difficult to speak off-the-cuff.
See also: speak
References in periodicals archive ?
Ever enthusiastic, Sununu speaks off the cuff and without notes, often with self-deprecating comments about his inability to speak concisely or to stay within time limits.
Most operatives in GOP politics agree he is probably the best retail politician in the field, and so week after week, Perry attends small events where he speaks off the cuff and glad-hands before and after.
His spokesman yesterday told the Daily Mirror the Bradford West MP "speaks off the cuff" so it is unclear what he will say.