so, it always bothers me when someone uses the idiom “lucked out” to mean they were lucky.
it seems to me it should mean the obvious.
i understand “got lucky” (gained in luck).
personally, i’ve always used “lucked into” as i came upon a situation that required luck to accomplish/gain, and i got “in” (in line, in stock, in possession, etc).
and if i told someone i “lucked into” something, they’d immediately understand what i meant. luck was needed and i got in, against the odds.
but if “lucked into” means you have luck in the situation, why would “lucked out” (the exact opposite) mean the same thing. it makes no sense!!
anyway, i’ve always wondered where the phrase comes from and its been a topic of conversation when the saying is used around me.
here is an interesting and cursory look into the source.
my favorite answer i’ve ever heard of comes from the comments from the article, from a “Topi”.
he/she argues that the phrase comes from the luck of getting out of the war.
in other words, you fought in the war and one of three outcomes occurred:
- you died (“ran out of luck”)
- you survived (no luck applied or needed. you did it!)
- you were removed from the battle due to serious injury (“bad luck”)
- you were removed from the battle due to minor injury or other out-of-your-control-circumstances (you “lucked out” of the war)
i still think it means the opposite of what the majority of people believe it to mean, but at least its original meaning is interesting….