Out of my wheelhouse

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Out of my wheelhouse

Post by Phil White » Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:46 pm

I have to admit that I am sometimes a sad individual who watches videos of guitarists demonstrating pedals that I will never use, not only because I don't play that type of music, but also because I very rarely pick up my guitars at all nowadays.

Be that as it may, I was watching this video by Chris Buck, and he used the phrase "out of my wheelhouse" several times. It's a new phrase on me, although it clearly means something like "out of my comfort zone".

Googling around seems to suggest that it has popped up in the past five years or so. Anyone have any more information on the genesis?

And just in case anyone got the wrong impression of Chris Buck, he is a talented, soulful, slick guitarist who plays in his band Buck and Evans with the excellent singer Sally Ann Evans. Very much worth checking out if you like old style blues rock with a touch of progressive and soul. Metal really isn't in his wheelhouse.
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Re: Out of my wheelhouse

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:47 pm

I knew I'd encountered a discussion about this previously on Wordwizard.

Sure enough, when I searched for it, it turned out that Wordwizard's impresario of the OED — the doyen of dictionaries — the enchanter of etymons — the seer of lexicons — the sorcerer of encylopedias — our very own Ken Greenwald has done the spadework on the term, and you can find it right here.

:)
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Re: Out of my wheelhouse

Post by Phil White » Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:23 am

I sit chastened...

Although Ken's post(s) look at the positive "in one's wheelhouse". The negative "not in one's wheelhouse" seems to be slightly different from just the negative. Certainly Chris Buck in the clip I referenced was using it to mean "not in my comfort zone" (he actually says that towards the end of the clip as well), rather than "not my area of expertise" or "not up my alley". Either way, it seems to have taken a long time to cross the pond, which may be why I forgot/ignored the original post.
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