on one’s uppers

on one’s uppers

Meaning:

  • extremely short of money
  • destitute
  • poor

Example:

  1. All the artists in their initial phase of career were on their uppers. They have struggled enough to reach this level of success.
  2. The owner of Blue Dart was once on his uppers when he had a few thousands in his bank. It is when he took risk & by favour of his luck, he has a successful business now.
  3. It is good that you want to follow your passion & be a dancer but you must remember that during one phase you’ll be on your uppers. So decide & plan accordingly.
  4. The actor when first came to Mumbai was on his uppers & slept near the beach. It is then he dreamt of having a mansion near the beach & today he owns not one but two of them.
  5. I am on my uppers now & I knew this would happen some day. Following your passion isn’t as dreamy as it seems.
  6. He helped his friend who was on his uppers & had no money to record his album. His one good deed got his friend selected for vocals of an upcoming movie.

Origin:
In this expression, worn-out shoes are taken as an indication of someone’s poverty; the upper is the part of a shoe above the sole, which is all that is left after the sole has been worn away.

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