lay off

"lay off"

Jan 22 2021


“I really should lay off the fast food. I want to stay healthy!”

- Singer Scotty McCreery on his New Year’s resolution. (Us Weekly)


stop doing something that’s not good for you


The expression lay off has several meanings. You’re probably most familiar with the meaning that has to do with someone losing a job. To say that someone got laid off means that she or he lost a job because the company was trying to save money by reducing the number of its employees. Or, it might just be a nice way of saying someone got fired.

The other meaning of lay off also has to do with stopping something, but it’s not quite as permanent as losing a job. You lay off something when you stop doing it for a while. You might start again sometime, but right now you’re going to take a break, usually because the thing is bad for you in some way. You might lay off beer because you’ve been drinking too much, or lay off running because your knee is hurting you. You might start drinking or running again someday, but you’re going to stop for the moment.

Singer Scotty McCreery has big plans for the new year. He wants to get healthier. That means laying off fast food, which tends to have lots of calories and unhealthy ingredients. Maybe he’ll go back to McDonald’s someday, but, for now, he’ll try to eat elsewhere.

Have you ever tried to lay off something that was harming you? Did it work? Did you go back to the thing later?


“I’m going to lay off the horror movies for awhile. They’re giving me nightmares!”

“Dude, lay off the jelly beans! You’re going to get a cavity at the rate you’re going.”

“I need to lay off the sushi for awhile; I love it, but I’ll get sick of it if I eat too much.”

See the full English lesson at English, baby!