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Re: Phrase origin: off the wall

Posted by Bruce Kahl on February 16, 2005

In Reply to: Phrase origin: off the wall posted by steve youngdale on February 16, 2005

: off the wall, originaly posted june 30 2001.in an old black & white movie about billiards, a pool shark used the phrase "i never play OFF THE WALL with anyone but frends" after being offerd a que stick out of the rack hanging on the wall. the que being not streight.or just not quite right

Hmmmm.
Bartleby has it as:
"A person or an action that is off-the-wall is "wild, irrational, unexpected, or unpredictable," the figurative sense suggested probably by the unexpected courses of objects ricocheting off a wall."