What does ‘out of order’ mean?

What does ‘out of order’ mean?


Feifei: Hello and welcome to The English
We Speak. I’m Feifei.
Neil: And I’m Neil. Hi everyone.
Feifei: Is everything OK, Neil? You sound
a bit annoyed this morning!
Neil: Yeh, I’m OK, I’m just a bit frustrated.
I spent a few hours organising all of the
books on my bookshelves last weekend,
but then my wife decided
to clean the shelves
and put the books back in a mess.
They’re all out of order again now!
Feifei: Oh, that is totally out of order!
Neil: Yeah, they are now totally
out of order.
Feifei: I’m talking about your wife,
not the books.
Neil: Eh?
Feifei: What I meant is that
it wasn’t fair that all your hard work
went to waste – she
should have been more considerate.
Neil: Ohhh, I see. You mean ‘out of order’
in a different sense! My books are out of
order because they’re disorganised,
but my wife was out of order
because she was inconsiderate.
Feifei: That’s exactly right! Let’s listen
to some other examples of how you could
use this alternate meaning.
The referee in Saturday’s football match
was totally out of order!
I couldn’t believe he sent off
our best player – he was obviously biased!
A passenger on the train this morning
started shouting at me. She said
I pushed her! I thought
she was really out of order! I couldn’t help
it. The train stopped abruptly.
Who took my pen from my desk?
It’s the fourth time this week –
this is out of order!
Feifei: This is The English We Speak
from BBC Learning English and
we’re talking about
the phrase ‘out of order’. This phrase
often means that something
is disorganised or in the wrong order,
but it is also used in spoken English to
say that someone has been unfair
or inconsiderate. Could you give us
another example of this, Neil?
Neil: Well, I wrote a script last week which
you said was rubbish! I thought that was
a bit out of order!
Feifei: Oh dear! I’m sorry if I offended you,
Neil, but I think you might
have misunderstood what I meant!
When you printed it out and gave it to me,
I couldn’t read anything – there
was ink all over it. Perhaps
the printer was out of order?
Neil: And that’s a third meaning
of ‘out of order’.
Feifei: Yes. ‘Out of order’ also means
broken! Well, that’s all we have…
Neil: Oh dear, it seems Feifei’s mic
is out of order! What she was
trying to say was that’s all we have
time for this week, so join us again next
week for more The English We Speak.
Goodbye!

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About Nicklaus Predovic

29 thoughts on “What does ‘out of order’ mean?

  1. Thank you BBC.
    Life has become out of order recently, we no longer live the comfortable life our parents had before. Globalization has cankered every tiny nerve existing in our minds.

  2. After having worked hard yesterday, in addition I was alone, my boss has decided to make me work today too. She has been absolutely out of order. I feel dead tired!

  3. Very helpful videos. I need a help, could you please help me? What does 'let the bullets fly ' mean? If you've any idea please help I wanna know about this idiomatic expression!! Please help

  4. i couldn't get a nap in breaktime this afternoon because my colleague talked so much. I thought they were out of order

  5. Please also send my thanks to the guys who find all funny pics and make the video so hilarious! Thanks

  6. Ralph's game was out of order in ralph 1 movie and he tried to make the internet out of order again in the ralphe 2 movie litrelly is title of the movie 😅 …any way thank you that phrasal is annoying …

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