What does the idiom "live out of a suitcase" mean?

live out of a suitcase is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression live out of a suitcase is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "live out of a suitcase"


The idiom 'live out of a suitcase' commonly refers to the experience of living a nomadic lifestyle, meaning that the person frequently moves from one place to another while only having a few essential items with them. It is often used to emphasize the lack of stability that comes with constantly being on the go, as well as of how isolated someone can feel when they leave their home for long periods of time.


The phrase 'live out of a suitcase' was first used in the 1950s and is believed to have originated from the activity of travel writers and entrepreneurs. Travelling to different locations and staying in different places often meant that they had to carry all of their belongings around with them in a suitcase or bag. Over time, this activity became synonymous with the nomadic lifestyle and was eventually adopted into the English language.


The phrase 'live out of a suitcase' is often used to describe someone who is constantly travelling and does not have a permanent residence. It can also be used to refer to a lifestyle that is characterized by travelling to new places and living in temporary living arrangements, such as hotel rooms and Airbnbs.

Example Sentences

  • After living out of a suitcase for four months while working on a project, I was eager to return home to my own bed.
  • My friend has been living out of a suitcase for the last year, travelling around the world to different cities.

The meanings of the words in the "live out of a suitcase" idiom

The Global Spread of English Idioms

As English has become a global language, its idioms have spread far beyond the borders of the UK and USA. For instance, the idiom "beat around the bush" has equivalents in many other languages, such as "tourner autour du pot" in French and "dar vueltas al asunto" in Spanish. Meanwhile, other idioms have been adapted for local contexts, such as the Russian idiom "?? ???? ???????" (ne svoya rubashka), which translates to "not one's own shirt," meaning to be in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation.


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