Phrasal-Adjectives – Letter O (With Prepositions)

–  Prepositional Phrasal Adjectives – Letter O  –


  • (to [not] be) Cut Out For (something) – This is an Idiomatic & Prepositional Adjectival Phrase which means:  To [not] be “right” for something (activity), or that one does[n’t] “fit” in a certain position (career).  This phrase probably comes from the time when, if a man wanted a suit, he had to go to the tailor to have one made especially for him.  The tailor would take the measurements and each piece was “cut out” especially for him, so that it would fit perfectly…  So if someone else tried to wear it, most likely it wouldn’t fit.  This phrase, however, reverses that to say that a person is not “cut out for” (does not have the right qualities or skills) to do a certain job or activity.  –  (Note Also:  This phrase is almost always used in the negative)

  • (to be) Dead On (one’s) Feet – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase which is used to describe a person who is – though physically awake – completely or at greatly un-responsive, use-less, or appearing to be in some sort of trance.  This is usually because of extreme exhaustion, sick-ness, the effects of drugs or alcohol the night before, or just from being a freakin’ idiot…

“Well, he’s physically here, he seems to be awake, but he certainly isn’t showing an signs of life.  I don’t know if he’s sick, hung-over or in some sort of voodoo trance, but Stan is completely dead on his feet today!  If he doesn’t show any improvement after lunch, I’m sending him home.  Having a person like that at the controls of a nuclear power plant, probably isn’t a very good idea.”

  • (to be) In Operation – This is an idiomatic adjectival phrase which is a replacement for the words “working”, “operating”, “functioning”.  It is usually used to talk about a business, a system, or some kind of operation (large or small) such as a government program…  “The KGB was formed in 1954, and was *in operation* until the winter of 1991.”

  • (to be) Off Like A Shot – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase which means:  To leave some place – and the “shot” is in comparison to a “gun-shot”.  So…  since the bullet of a gun moves VERY fast, this phrase just means that someone has left a place very very quickly…

“Once he saw his ex-girlfriend coming in through front door of the party, he quickly made his way through the kitchen, found the back-door, and he was off like a shot!  There was no way he was going to let that freakin’ psychopath ruin his evening.” (true story) 😀

  • (to be) Off The Beaten Path – This Idiomatic Prepositional-Phrase can be either an Adverbial Phrase (to talk about how someone is doing something) or an Adjectival Phrase to describe some thing or process as being a bit different, or out of the ordinary.  This phrase comes from the days when we had more “paths” (or “trails”) than roads.  If the “path” is walked by many people, it will be “beaten” down.  If not it is probably not commonly used.  Therefore – Idiomatically – it is used to say that the place where one “is”, or the way that someone is doing something is not the common way…

“When we travel, we don’t like to be around a lot of other tourists.  We like to get off the beaten path and explore.  This is also how we run our company.  We try to be fresh and innovative and not do things just because that is how everyone else does it.  You could say that we like to get off the beaten path, whenever we do anything.”

  • (to be) On Edge – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Phrasal Adjective which is used to describe when a person is dealing with a lot of anxiety and because of this, that person is moody, excitable, and easily upset.  It is possible that the phrase comes from an excited person being “on the edge of their seat” which is another similar phrase which can be both literal and idiomatic, and describes when a person is in a very similar situation..

“The new boss has got everyone on edge because she is not only giving us a lot of extra work, but she is constantly asking us how to do her job as well!”

  • (to be) On Par – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase which comes from the world and lingo of gold.  The word Par is used to describe how many shots it should take to go from the first time that a person hits the ball, to the moment that the same person manages to get the ball into the hole.  So if the particular “hole” has a “Par 3”, then it is expected that it should take the average, skilled player 3 shots to get the ball in the hole.  There-fore, to be “On Par” is a phrase which means:

“To Be Doing, or To Be At – A Current State – Which Is As, or, To Be Expected.”

  • (to be) On Schedule – This is an Idiomatic and Adjectival Prepositional-Phrase which means to be working according to the schedule and to not be in anyway “behind” or late.  This implies that any sort of project will be finished “on time” (as scheduled and expected) and will not be late…   –  (See Also:  “On Time”)

“It took a lot of people working very hard, but finally we are back *on schedule* and we expect to finish the project by the original projected date of completion.”

  • (to be) On The Ball – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase which is used to describe when a person is performing at a very high level of skill, efficiency and awareness – often better than expected or anticipated…

“Giuseppe is really on the ball today!  Not only did he manage to finish the project we gave him only three days ago – and do-so better than we had hoped for – but he also managed to find out what the problem was with the internal computer system, AND now he’s installing an application that will save the company over $3000 annually on the cost of IT services!”

  • (to be) On The Same Page – This Idiomatic Prepositional-Phrase is also an Adjectival Verb Phrase which is used to mean that two or more people “Comprehend Each Other” and/or “Agree” (but not necessarily both)

“I called the meeting today because I just want to make sure that we are all on the same page about what is to be expected with the new project.”

  • (to be) On The Same WaveLength With (someone) – Though this is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase which comes to us from the world of radio.  Radio signals travel at difference frequencies.  The word frequency is related to the signal’s “wave-length”.  If the radio receiver is not tuned to the correct frequency it will not be able to pick up the frequency of the station and thus, you will only hear static…  So to say that two people are on the same wave-length just means that they can comprehend each other and probably think and feel the same or similarly.  –  (See also:  “To Strike A Chord With & “To Resonate With)

  • (to be) On The Verge Of (something) – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase which means:  To be right on the edge of, and very close to something; it can be both literal of figurative…  To be right on the verge of the finish-line means:

“right at the very end of the race, and about to cross the finish-line”.

…To be right on the verge of finishing a project means that:

“the project is almost completed”.

  • (to be) One-On-One – Though this phrasal adjective is often used in the same way as the phrasal adjective Face-To-Face, it actually has a different meaning.  This phrase is often used to describe things like meetings, conversations, or competitions.  It simply means that the people who may be Face-To-Face are also not hindered, bothered, or interrupted by anyone else.  A *One-On-One* meeting is a meeting between only two people.  A *one-on-one* discussion is between tow people but is most likely private.  A *one-on-one* basketball match is two individuals competing together without any other players.

1. One was robbed; stolen from. This is a general slang term for being robbed but is usually pertaining to someone breaking in to some place to steal something secretly.

2. that one was cheated (usually by some sort of scam) or by a dishonest salesperson.

“Someone broke in to my house and ripped me off!!! I had $1000 hidden in my bedroom and now it’s gone!”

“I purchased a computer on E-Bay and was completely ripped off!!!  It said that it hadn’t been used and it clearly has.”


  • (to be) StandOffIsh – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase.  Any time a word has the “-ish” suffix, it means that it (partially/kind of…) has the quality of whatever adjective or noun it is attached to.  So to say that someone is “Stand-Off-Ish”, is to describe that person as being:  shy, timid, or just not wanting to socialize, or be “close” to/with other people or a particular group (in all, or certain, situations)…

“As he normally did not find himself in social situations with such despicable people, he was quite stand-off-ish, not wanting to corrupt himself with their loathsome presence.”


–  ( Phrasal-AdjectivesLetter O )  –


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