Catch Word #110 – To go out on a limb

Here’s an episode about taking risks. Sooner or later, we all take a risk at work or in our personal lives. To go out on a limb and to stick your neck out can be used to talk about taking a risk. You can also put yourself in jeopardy when you take a risk. Take a risk by listening to this episode and start using these natural English expressions today.

Expressions included in the Learning Materialsrisk

  • To go out on a limb
  • To take something into consideration
  • To stick your neck out
  • Back to the drawing board
  • Listen up
  • To put yourself in jeopardy
  • It’s been around forever
  • Good old
  • To make it
  • Asap
  • What’s wrong? A backup

Sample transcript

Maura: Yes. Today’s episode is focused on expressions that are about taking a risk.

Harp: Yes. So they’re all related to taking a risk.

Maura: Right. Taking a chance, taking a risk, doing something that could be a little bit dangerous or could get you into trouble. Our first expression today is to go out on a limb.

Harp: To go out on a limb.

Maura: Right. So there’s a lot of little words, but when we talk, we say it fast and it sounds like to go out on a limb.

Harp: Yup. To go out on a limb.

Maura: Now, to go out on a limb means to take a risk, to do something that could be dangerous, to do something that’s different from most people.

Harp: Yeah. So when you take a risk or when you do something different, you can say this expression: to go out on a limb.

Maura: So, to go out on a limb means to take a risk but it also means to do something different from most people. But if you think about it, they’re really related, because when you do something different from other people, you are taking a risk, because maybe those people will judge you or they’ll disagree with your idea. So to go out on a limb means that you take a risk; you could put yourself in a dangerous situation. And dangerous doesn’t have to be, like, a physically dangerous situation, but just some situation where you could have negative consequences.

Harp: Yeah, that’s a good point.

Maura: Now, this is an interesting expression, to go out on a limb, but there is a possible origin or a connection to trees.

Harp: Yes, because on a tree, a limb is an open, exposed branch, so it’s like one of the arms of the tree.

Maura: Exactly. And if you’re an animal who lives in trees and goes out on a limb, I mean actually goes out on a limb, it’s a dangerous place to be because you’re exposed and maybe a hunter or a predator or someone who wants to get you could get you because they can see you.

Harp: Yes, definitely. Or the limb could break because it’s too weak.

Maura: Right. So that’s another danger when an animal goes out on a limb: the limb could break and the animal could fall to the ground. So going out on a limb actually is dangerous.

Podcast/ Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast