phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Out of this world

Posted by Rachel on November 26, 2005

In Reply to: Out of this world posted by Smokey Stover on November 25, 2005

: : : : out of this world. Anybody know where this one comes from or why?

: : : If it's out of this world it's otherworldly. It's usually meant as a sort of superlative: better than anything on THIS world. Does that fit your context? SS

: : If you Google "out of this world" you will find nearly 4 million entries available. Besides its use as hyperbole, it's sometimes used as a catch phrase for anything, such as an enterprise or piece of entertainment, which has to do with space travel, astronomy, celestial bodies, the non-religious supernatural. or anything else otherworldly. There was a movie in 1945 (Eddie Bracken, Veronica Lake), a musical by Cole Porter , a song sung by Frank Sinatra, a computer game , and my favorite, a pleasant and amusing TV comedy (1987-91) about an American family normal in every respect except that dad is perpetually off-planet. SS

: One more follow-up. The Oxford English Dictionary has this to say: "out of this world: (i) superlatively good, fine beyond description; beautiful, delightful, wonderful. Also as adv. and attrib. phrases. colloq. and slang (orig. U.S. Jazz). [citations] 1928 R. FISHER Walls of Jericho 303 Out (of) this world, beyond mortal experience or belief. 1931 Inter-State Tattler 17 Dec. 12 Alberta Hunter..warbles out of this world. . . . 1972 J. ROSSITER Rope for General Dietz v. 61 She gave me the skinned fruit... With Cointreau poured on, mine tasted out of this world.
: (ii) In neutral or derogatory contexts: unworldly; quite remarkable; also incredibly bad or repulsive.
: 1941 B. SCHULBERG What makes Sammy Run? vii. 149 The gallery was in a funny little bungalow with an easy~going, out-of-this-world atmosphere. 1951 'A. GARVE' Murder in Moscow ii. 32 They hate our guts, and the way they behave is out of this world."

Thanks. This helps a bunch.