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Lucked out

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When my groceries came today the supermarket had replaced an item costing £12 with one costing £30. So a good deal! I messaged a friend and said “I lucked out”. But then I wondered if I meant “lucked in”.

Well lucked out is indeed what I meant. It’s an idiom for a fortunate event. But it is also an idiom for something happening that is unfortunate. So it can mean something and also the opposite, which is interesting. 

There are words in English that behave the same way: for example “cleave” can mean cling to, but also separate from. And “clip” can mean attach, but also cut off.

There is an interesting discussion here 


PS Confusingly there is another idiom “lucked in”. And that is definitely good fortune. 

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