74 Idioms and Phrasal Verbs with OFF (With Real Examples)

I love learning idioms in Japanese (my second language), when I use them in conversation I feel like a native Japanese speaker. In this post, I’ll teach you 74 common idioms and phrasal verbs with OFF. Learn the meaning and see the idioms used in real, natural example sentences.

  1. A Chip Off The Old Block
  2. All Bets are Off 
  3. As Easy as Falling Off a log
  4. Back Off 
  5. Bake/Cook Off 
  6. BE Off
  7. Bite Off More Than One Can Chew
  8. Bite Your Head Off 
  9. Blow Off Steam
  10. Blow Someone/Something Off
  11. Brush (Someone) Off *Also Get The Brush Off
  12. Bug Off
  13. Bump Someone Off
  14. Call It Off
  15. Call The Dogs Off
  16. Catch One Off Guard
  17. Cool Off
  18. Ease Off On It
  19. Fly Off The Handle
  20. Fly Off the Shelves
  21. Fresh Off the Boat
  22. Get A Big Send Off
  23. Get A Load Off One’s Mind
  24. Get Off
  25. Get Off Easy/Lightly
  26. Get Off It
  27. Get Off On The Wrong Foot
  28. Get Off Scot Free
  29. Get Off Someone’s Back
  30. Get Off To A Bad Start
  31. Get Off To A Flying Start
  32. Get Off Your High Horse
  33. Get The Day Off
  34. Get Time Off For Good Behavior
  35. Hit it Off
  36. Like Water Off A Duck’s Back
  37. Log Off
  38. No Skin Off Someone’s Nose
  39. Nod Off
  40. Off Again, On Again
  41. Off And On
  42. Off And Running
  43. Off course
  44. Off Duty
  45. Off Like A Shot
  46. Off Limits
  47. Off One’s Rocker
  48. Off Season
  49. Off The Beaten Track
  50. Off The Cuff
  51. Off The Hook
  52. Off The Record
  53. Off The Subject
  54. Off The Top Of One’s Head
  55. Pull Something Off/Pull Off Something 
  56. Put Something Off
  57. Ride Off
  58. Scared The Pants Off Of Me
  59. See Someone Off
  60. Take a Load Off
  61. Take Off (1)
  62. Take Off (2)
  63. Take Off (3)
  64. Take Off Running
  65. Off With Other Verbs Of Movement
  66. Take Off After Someone Or Something
  67. Take Off One’s Hat To Someone
  68. Take Clothes Off
  69. Talk Someone’s Ear Off
  70. Tip Someone Off
  71. Well Off
  72. Why Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today
  73. Work Something Off/ Work Off Something 
  74. Write Someone Or Something Off

Check out this list and learn some new idioms that native speakers really use. If you can think of some idioms that I left out, please tell me in the comments!

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs with OFF

A Chip Off The Old Block
This is someone who resembles their Mom or Dad in how they look or how they act

  • “Jamie looks and acts just like his dad. He’s a chip off the old block.”

All Bets are Off
This is used to say that if a specific thing happens then the agreement we made will not apply anymore

  • “I’ll support you as you start your own business, but it’s going to take a lot of work. If I see you getting lazy then I will take my support away and all bets are off

MeaningIf a specific thing happens (I see you getting lazy) then the agreement made will not apply anymore (I will not support you)

As Easy as Falling Off a Log (Other versions – As easy as 1, 2, 3 – As easy as pie)
Very easy

  • “Baking these cookies is super easy, you only need three ingredients. It’s as easy as falling off a log.”

Back Off
To stop threatening, harassing, or bothering someone

  • “You’ve been giving me a hard time a week, I’m doing my best so I think it’s time for you to back off.” 

A contest where people bake or cook to see who makes the best food

  • “The cookies were easy to make, thank you for sharing the recipe. I think I’m going to enter them in next week’s school bake-off. Wish me luck.” 

BE Off
To leave (from the place we are at) to go somewhere  

  • “It’s 7:30 so I’m off now, I’ll see you after work.” 

Bite Off More Than One Can Chew
To accept more responsibility than one can handle

  • “I took an extra part-time job this summer and I offered to help my dad at his work. I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew.”

Bite Your Head Off
To suddenly shout at somebody in an angry way for no good reason

  • “Keep away from Louise today, she’s in a bad mood. I just walked past the break room and saw her biting Collin’s head off.” 

Blow Off Steam
To release your energy or strong feelings by doing some activity. 

  • “After A hard day’s work, some co-workers and I like to play basketball at the community center. It’s a great way to blow off steam.”

Blow Someone/Something Off
To fail to keep an appointment or ignore someone or something

  • “I asked Neil if he wanted to join us today for basketball after work but he just blew me off. He was kind of rude.”

Brush (someone) Off *Also Get The Brush Off
To suddenly decide to dismiss someone or something

  • “I hate when people brush me off like that.” 

Bug Off
This is told to someone who you want to leave you alone

  • “I’m busy working here, will you please bug off? I need quiet so I can focus.”

Bump Someone Off
To kill someone or have someone killed

  • “Marco knew too much, so the crime family bumped him off.”

Call It Off
To cancel something that was planned

  • “Too many staff are on summer holiday now so my boss decided to call the meeting off today. That works for me, I hate the meetings.” 

Call The Dogs Off
To stop threatening or chasing after someone, or tell the people who work for you to stop threatening or chasing someone

  • “After a month-long investigation, the police decided to call the dogs off. They had gathered all the information that they needed.” 

Catch Someone Off Guard
For something to happen at a time when one is not ready or prepared 

  • “Katherine announced that she was quitting today. This was quite unexpected and caught the whole office off guard.” 

Cool Off
To relax and calm down, especially after becoming angry

  • “A lot has happened today, we should all just step back, relax, and cool off before we make any important decisions.” 

Ease Off On It
To relax the pressure or intensity on someone or something

  • “Before you come to a sharp turn in the road you should ease off on the gas. This is much safer.” 

Fly Off The Handle
To suddenly lose control due to anger

  • “I’m surprised that Louise was yelling at Collin this morning. She doesn’t usually fly off the handle like that.” 

Fly Off the Shelves
(Of a product for sale) To sell very quickly so that a store has no more of a product left to sell

  • “The new Honey Nut cereal is very popular. It’s flying off the shelves, we need more right away.”

Fresh Off the Boat
A person who is very new to a country is fresh off the boat

  • “Andre’s English isn’t very good yet, but he is a fast learner. Give him some time, he’s still fresh off the boat.” 

Get A Big Send Off
A big party or farewell celebration thrown in honor of someone who is leaving a job or a place

  • “Friday is Vanessa’s last day at work so we’re giving her a big send off. Everyone at the office will miss her.” 

Get A Load Off One’s Mind
To talk about something that is worrying you to get it out of your mind. This can help remove some stress that you are feeling

  • “Thanks for listening to me this morning Carol, I needed to get a load off my mind. You’re a good friend.” 

Get Off
To receive no or almost no punishment for something bad that you did

  • “After all the bad things this company has done to the environment, it seems like they’re going to get off with nothing but a small fine. Where is the justice?” 

Get Off Easy/Lightly
To do something bad and receive a small punishment

  • “Francis got caught cheating on the test, but he wasn’t suspended or even kicked out of the class. He only has to apologize to the teacher. He got off easy if you ask me.” 

Get Off It/This
To stop talking about a particular subject

  • “We’ve been talking about Jim and Jane all morning. Can we get off this now? I’m getting tired of it.” 

Get Off On The Wrong Foot
To start a relationship in a bad way

  • “When you first meet someone I would avoid talking about politics. That’s an easy way to get off on the wrong foot. It’s better to find a more neutral topic that you can agree on.”

Get Off Someone’s Back
To stop harassing or bothering someone

  • “I’m working as fast as I can. I really wish the boss would get off my back.” 

Get Off Scot Free
To receive no punishment at all after doing something bad

  • “After all the bad things this company has done to the environment, it seems like they’re going to get off scot free. Where is the justice?”

(Get) Off To A Bad Start
To begin something in a bad way

  • “The prime minister was involved in his first scandal just three months after the election. He’s off to a bad start, I hope he can turn things around fast.” 

(Get) Off To A Flying Start
To begin something very well, to start something in a great way

  • “The movie opened to the number one spot in 5 countries. It’s off to a flying start.” 

Get Off Your High Horse
To stop acting like you are better than other people

  • “Our manager often complains but I never see him making a contribution. It’s time he got off his high horse and started helping around the office.” 

You’re no better than anyone else Leo. It’s time you got off your high horse.

Get The Day Off
To get a day free from work

  • “I get Friday off this week. I don’t have to go to work after Thursday. It’s a good chance to go camping, don’t you think?” 

Get Time Off For Good Behavior
To have time taken off a prison sentence because your behavior was good while you were in prison

  • “His sentence was reduced after the appeal. If he gets time off for good behavior he could be free again in 18 months.”

Hit it Off
To get along very well, especially with people who have just met 

  • “I’m excited about my new job. I meant my boss yesterday for the first time and we really hit it off.”

Like Water Off A Duck’s Back
Being easily washed away with no effect (especially criticism) 

  • A: “Alan has been saying a lot of nasty things recently.”
  • B: “I really don’t care what he has to say, his comments hit me like water off a duck’s back.” 

(Ducks have oil on their feathers so they do not absorb water. They don’t stay wet. Water easily flows off their back with no effect.)

Log Off
To close and finish using a computer or online account

  • “My company has a no overtime policy. Every day at 5:00 PM I log off from my work computer, say goodbye to my coworkers, and go home to my family.” 

No Skin Off Someone’s Nose
It’s no problem at all for someone, they are not affected

  • “If the company decides to get rid of the coffee machine in the break room it’s no skin off my nose. I don’t drink coffee.”

Nod Off
To fall asleep

  • “I woke up very early this morning so at around 3 p.m. I started to nod off at my desk. My boss wasn’t happy.” 

Off Again, On Again
To continually begin something, end something, and then begin again in a cycle

  • “Tom and Sandra have a real off again, on again relationship. Honestly, I’m getting tired of it.”

Off And On
To stop and start

  • “It’s been raining off and on all day. I hate this weather.” 

Do I need an umbrella or not!?

Off And Running
To begin and progress well

  • “I was worried about the new equipment coming late, but it arrived on time. After we hooked everything up we were off and running.” 

Off Course
Not following the planned route or strategy

  • “The board of directors brought in a new president. They felt the company had gone off course and needed a new direction.” 

Off Duty
Not be working in one’s official capacity

  • “An older woman fainted at the mall after feeling chest pain. Luckily there was an off duty paramedic nearby who could help.” 

Off Like A Shot
Very quickly 

  • “My teammate passed me the ball and I was off like a shot into the end zone. I scored the try that put us in the lead. We qualified for the rugby semi-finals.”

Off Limits
If a place is off-limits it means no one’s allowed to go there 

  • “The old copper mine is quite dangerous, it has been off limits for the last 8 years.” 

Off One’s Rocker
Crazy, not in a good State of Mind 

  • “You must be off your rocker if you want to play in the old copper mine. It’s too dangerous.”

Off Season
The time of year when there is less activity, (in sports) the time of year when there are no competitions or training 

  • “It’s cheaper to travel to nice resorts during the off season.” 

Off The Beaten Track
A place less traveled to, somewhere not often visited by others (Beaten Track is a path that many others have traveled before) 

  • “I like to go places that are off the beaten track. I think they’re more interesting.” 

Off The Cuff
A comment or words spoken without much previous thought 

  • “I don’t think she really meant what he said, she was just speaking off the cuff.”

Off The Hook
Becoming free from a hard situation or a punishment 

  • “My dad wanted me to help him paint the garage but he decided to have it professionally done. So now I’m off the hook.” 

Off The Record
If you tell someone something off the record it means that what you are saying is not official and you don’t want them to repeat it to others 

  • “The president wants people to feel optimistic about his education plans for the country, but off the record, I don’t think we have enough money in the budget.” 

Off The Subject
Move the conversation away from the current subject that is being talked about, introducing a new subject to the conversation

  • “The president’s plans for Education are important, but who is going to the party this weekend? Sorry to move us off the subject.” 

Off The Top Of One’s Head
By memory, without any references or notes 

  • “I don’t remember everyone who was on the team but off the top of my head I can give you a few names.” 

Pull Something Off/Pull Off Something 
To succeed in something 

  • “The captain spun around and pulled off a beautiful three-point shot to win the game.” 

Put (something) off
To leave a task until a later time

  • “My father taught me to do my work right away. It’s a bad habit to put things off.”

Scared The Pants Off (Of) Me
To really scare someone 

  • “The sudden thunder last night really scared the pants off me.” 

See someone off
To take someone to the airport, bus/train station, etc. and say goodbye before they leave

  • “Tomorrow I’ll drive my son to the airport and see him off.”

Take a Load Off
To sit down. To take the weight off your feet and legs by sitting and resting

  • “You must be tired, you’ve been on your feet all day. Please, sit down and take a load off.

Take Off
To leave a place and leave the people you are currently with 

  • “It’s getting late, I better take off now.”

Take Off (airplane)
To leave the ground

  • “His flight is scheduled to leave at 9:00 am but the planes rarely take off on time.”

Take Off
To run away (Often past tense)

  • “I saw a mouse in my garage this morning. I tried to grab it but it took off before I got close.”

Take Off Running
To suddenly run

  • “There was a loud bang and then everyone took off running.”

Take Off After Someone Or Something
To pursue or follow someone in an effort to catch them 

  • “I noticed the woman left her purse beside her seat. I took off after her hoping to catch her before she got too far.” 

*OFF with verbs of movement

  • run off
  • walk off
  • go off etc.
    = MOVE away
  • “Dinner is almost ready so don’t run off.” (Don’t go away because we will have dinner soon.)
  • “At the end of the movie, the cowboy rode off into the sunset.”

Take Off One’s Hat To Someone
This is a sign of respect or acknowledging someone’s accomplishment 

  • “Nina, your presentation was amazing.  I take my hat off to you.” 

Talk Someone’s Ear Off
To talk to somebody a lot 

  • “I think Joey is desperate for someone to talk to. He talked my ear off this morning for two and a half hours.” 

Take clothes off
To remove clothes
*We put on, clothes, shoes, hats, gloves, jewelry, etc. BUT We take these things off.

  • “In Japan, people don’t wear their shoes in the house. They always take them off at the entrance.”
  • “Hi welcome! Please take off your jacket and stay a while.”

Tip Someone Off/Be tipped Off
To give someone advanced information that warns them about a future action 

  • “Someone from the head office visited our office today for a “surprise” inspection but we were tipped off and ready for his arrival.” 

Well Off
To have money, to be comfortable financially 

  • “Jenna’s family is well off. She has never had to worry about money.” 

Why Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today
You shouldn’t procrastinate, you shouldn’t wait to take an action that you can take right now 

  • “My grandfather used to always tell me to work first and play second. He had a poster on the wall in his workshop that said Why Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today.”

Work Something Off/ Work Off Something 
To pay a debt with labor, not money

  • “When my dad was young, he and his friends caused some damage to a neighbor’s barn. They didn’t have money to pay for the repairs so they worked off the repair costs by helping in the farmer’s field in the summer.” 

Write Someone Or Something Off
To decide that somebody/something is worthless and doesn’t need any more consideration

  • “Lloyd made some mistakes but I think he’s a good person deep down. Don’t write him off too quickly.”

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