We had a new delivery of office supplies coming in at the end of week. It was so big, in fact, that I would have needed to re-arrange a lot of the current stock (Bestand) in the storage room. But there wasn’t any time for that before the delivery; I had other work to finish, and I was getting worried about the time crunch.
Fortunately, our intern (Praktikant/-in) just finished another project and now has plenty of time to re-arrange the storage room. And just like that, I’m off the hook.
We use this phrase to describe a situation in which we avoided (vermeiden) an unpleasant task, experience, or encounter. There was something we didn’t want to do; that ’something‘ disappeared and now, we don’t have to do it anymore!
Off the hook is an angling or fishing idiom – a fish, which was „on the hook“ and facing certain death at the hands of the angler, is now free from the hook and back to swimming around happily.
In case you were wondering what we’d say in German, my best guess would be aus dem Schneider sein. I know that this phrase might have more to do with financial problems, but it’s probably the closest in terms of usage.
Thanks for reading this year and happy holidays! We’ll be back in 2017 with plenty more idioms, misused EU English, and other interesting blog entries!