What does the idiom "off the record" mean?

The expression off the record is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the off the record idiom.

Meaning of "off the record"


The phrase “off the record” refers to information that is provided anonymously, usually to the press or in a professional setting. It implies that the speaker does not want their name or remarks to be made public or attributed to anyone. It is also commonly used in conversations as a way of warning the other person that whatever is being said should not be repeated or relayed to anyone else.


The phrase “off the record” has its origins in the early 20th century in America where it was used by journalists to refer to information that was not to be published. The phrase has since been adopted by various other professional and social contexts and has become commonplace in everyday conversation.


The phrase “off the record” is typically used in professional contexts to refer to sensitive information that is not to be disclosed to the public or to anyone else. It is also used in conversations between two people to indicate that the information being exchanged is not to be repeated to anyone else. The intended use of the phrase is to ensure that the information is kept confidential, which is why it is usually used when discussing sensitive or controversial topics.

Example Sentences

  • Can you tell me what happened off the record?
  • I’ll tell you what I heard off the record, but please don’t repeat it.
  • Let’s keep this conversation off the record.

The meanings of the words in the "off the record" idiom

The universal role of idioms

"Kill two birds with one stone" is an English idiom that means to accomplish two things with a single action. In French, the similar idiom is "Faire d'une pierre deux coups," which translates to "To kill two birds with one stone." This idiom highlights the efficiency of completing two tasks with one action.


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