Ready and waiting, as in We've got three more painters on standby. This expression originated in the navy in the 1940s, where it referred to someone being ready to come on duty as soon as required. From about 1960 it began to be widely used in aviation for a passenger waiting to take the first available seat on a full flight.
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How to use on standby in a sentence
Just the hard-on before you shoot unarmed members of the public.'Babylon' Review: The Dumb Lives of Trigger-Happy Cops|Melissa Leon|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Three on-the-record stories from a family: a mother and her daughters who came from Phoenix.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003|Vicky Ward|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
You just travel light with carry-on luggage, go to cities that you love, and get to hang out with all your friends.
It was a brick wall that we turned into the on-ramp of a highway.
Could the (thus far) timid trembling give way to a full-on, grand mal seizure?26 Earthquakes Later, Fracking’s Smoking Gun Is in Texas|James Joiner|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
I drew back from the rim of Writing-On-the-Stone, that set of whispered phrases echoing in my ears.Raw Gold|Bertrand W. Sinclair
Kingston-on-Thames is still provincial in appearance, though now the centre of a great growth of modern suburbs.The Portsmouth Road and Its Tributaries|Charles G. Harper
Besides the districts mentioned, tobacco is grown largely in that of Frankfort-on-the Oder.
Madame Malmaison had always been a little proud of the beauty and grace and sweetness of her fitter-on.The Weight of the Crown|Fred M. White
Berwick-on-Tweed lies partly in England and partly in Scotland, the river which runs through it forming the boundary line.British Highways And Byways From A Motor Car|Thomas D. Murphy