Out of the woods

Out of the woods © Henrischmit | Dreamstime.com

Another nice American idiom that is useful in everyday life and easy to explain.   Literally if you are out of the woods (forest) – a dark and dangerous place – you are in safety.  Figuratively it means the same thing: to emerge from a difficult or dangerous situation.

An example would be: “Bob had major surgery after a bad car accident.  He was is a serious condition for a while but it looks like he is out of the woods now.”

The negative version “not out of the woods”  is used even more frequently.  One uses it to describe a situation where one can relax a bit but the danger is not completely over.  Example:  we have seen signs of improvement but the economy is not out of the woods yet.

The German equivalents are: “aus dem Groebsten heraus sein”, “aus dem Schneider sein”, ueber den Berg sein”

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One Comment to “Out of the woods”

  1. “Break a leg”

    If you haven’t seen the movie “Outsourced” you might enjoy it because the entire movie is relevant to what you are saying. Anyway here’s an excerpt from the movie:

    The last scene was as follows: The American ex-boss went to the airport to see his Indian friend and employee off who was promoted to a new job at another country. The American said … “Break a leg … Apu!” The Indian guy was perplexed and said: “Oh my goodness … why do you want me to break my leg?” The American guy said “No Apu … Break a leg means good luck!” The Indian guy heaved a sigh of relief and said … “well in that case …. I’m hoping you break both your legs!”

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