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out at the elbows

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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.

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ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
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Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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