out and about


up and around

1 The expression out and about is extremely common in English... and not only American English. It basically refers to being out of your home, office, or hotel room, doing stuff in and around town. It doesn't matter what you're doing — you can be out running errands, sightseeing, walking around with friends, shopping... basically, going about your day. 


Pronunciation: [æ̀wt̚ɴ.ǝbǽwt̚]

This meme is about the expression on a cheater's face when he's out doing stuff in town and suddenly sees his mistress with someone else but can't say anything because his wife's right next to him.[Check in the comments below for more cartoons and memes]

It's Saturday morning and Jim is up early. He grabs an apple from the kitchen, and on his way out, he runs into his wife, who's watering the garden.


Anna: Where are you off to so early?

Jim: I need to do some stuff I couldn't get to this week. We need a new garden hose for the back yard and I want to pick up some paint for the shed.

Anna: Good idea! It's starting to look like a crack house back there.

Jim: God, Anna, exaggerate much?! 

Oh, I was thinking I could stop by the Farmer's Market and buy some fresh meat. You can make your famous beef curry tonight.

Anna: Oh hey, while you're out and about, would you mind looking in on my mom? She sounded a little tired on the phone this morning, and I'm afraid she may be coming down with a cold or something.

Jim: Will do!

_____________________⦿ Where are you off to? | Where are you going? ⦿ stuff I couldn't get to this week | stuff I wasn't able to do/take off my to-do list during the week (so I'm doing them on the weekend)⦿ to pick [SOMETHING] up | here: buy⦿ crack house | a house where crack addicts live; a run-down, shabby house⦿ Exaggerate much? | Short for Do you exaggerate very often? as a way to remark on how exaggerated her remark was. More here⦿ to look in on [SOMEONE] | to go to someone's room, house, apartment, etc. to make sure they're ok⦿ to come down with [ILLNESS] | to get an illness

2 The dictionary lists one of the meanings of the phrase out and about to refer to someone who's back on their feet and doing normal stuff again after an illness, injury, surgery, etc. I, personally, have never heard Americans use it like that. In that context, most American speakers (including yours truly) tend to use the expression up and around*.


*Note that some Americans and most Brits say up and about.

Angie runs into her friend Connie in the supermarket. They haven't seen each other in ages.


Angie: Oh my God, Connie! We were just talking about you and Axel the other night. We haven't seen you in ages. How is everything?!

Connie: Lord, where do I start...

Angie: What?! Is everything ok?

Connie: Not really. So... Axel and I went to Lake Tahoe for our anniversary in January. A friend of ours has a place there. He took us out on his boat to do some water-skiing. Well, there was a boulder below the surface of the water, and Axel didn't see it. He hit it with his left ski and it turned his leg completely around, breaking his ankle, knee and hip. Long story short: three surgeries, months of physical therapy, pain meds around the clock... an out-and-out nightmare!

Angie: You could knock me over with a feather right now! And I feel horrible that I'm just finding out about this now. We should've checked in with you sooner. I'm so sorry. 

Connie: Honey, don't sweat it — you had no way of knowing.

Angie: How is he now? Is he up and around at least.

Connie: He's able to put some weight on his leg now and he can get around the house with a walker, but it's going to be a while before he's fully mobile.

_____________________⦿ How is everything? | Stressing the verb to be in questions makes the speaker sound more curious.⦿ boulder | a big rock⦿ pain meds | pain medications⦿ out-and-out [NOUN] | an absolute [noun]⦿ You could know me over with a feather | I can't believe what I'm hearing/seeing. I'm in total shock.⦿ to check in with [SOMEONE] | to get in touch with someone just to see how they're doing⦿ I'm sick about this | I'm so upset about this that I literally feel sick. Note that being sick about something is different from being sick of something, which has a completely different meaning: to be tired of something.⦿ Don't sweat it. | Don't worry about it or let it upset you.⦿ is he | Note that we normally pronounce is he as [ɪzi] in conversation.⦿ to put weigh on one's leg/foot | to be able to stand and put your body weight on your foot or leg.⦿ walker | an orthopedic device used for support when walking after an injury ⦿ mobile | able to walk around

This cartoon is funny because the viking has made an absolute shambles of the house while his wife's been laid up in bed. Now he's scared of what she'll do when she's "up and around" and sees the mess he's made 😜 so he thanks the doctor for the warning.