Go Out on a Limb (Origin)

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Go Out on a Limb"?

The term "go out on a limb" means to take a risk or to adopt a tough position in order to support someone.

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Go Out on a Limb (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • He was willing to go out on a limb and propose a radical solution to the problem.
  • She decided to go out on a limb and invest her savings in a startup she believed in.
  • The scientist was ready to go out on a limb and present his groundbreaking research, despite potential skepticism.
  • He decided to go out on a limb and take the lead on the project, even though it was outside his comfort zone.
  • She was not afraid to go out on a limb and express her unconventional opinions during the debate.
The word "limb" in "to go out on a limb" most probably refers to the branch of a tree. Therefore, this saying describes the risks associated with climbing on a branch (i.e., falling off or the branch breaking). The term "go out on a limb" originates from the early 19th century (evidence), but it only came into popular use in the mid-20th century.

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This page was written by Craig Shrives.