What Does to Bluff Your Way Out of Something Mean?

Bluff Your Way Out Meaning

Definition: To lie to escape taking responsibility for something; also, to convince others of your competency.

If you bluff your way out of something, you pretend to know what you’re doing to make others think that you are competent. Someone will do this to get what he or she wants, or to avoid punishment for something that went wrong.

Origin of To Bluff Your Way Out of Something

The word bluff comes from either the Dutch word bluffen, which means brag, or verbluffen, which means to baffle, mislead. To bluff your way out of something means to mislead in a way that makes you look better, which is a perfect combination of both those meanings.

In the late 17th century, bluff took on the meaning blindfold, or hoodwink, which also both carry the connotation of deception.

bluffing meaning of bluffingBy 1864, bluff became the term for lying in the game of poker. Originally, the phrase was an act of bluffing. From there, the phrase bluff your way out developed, as players would bluff their way through the round when they didn’t have the best cards.

Examples of To Bluff Your Way Out of Something

In modern day, you can bluff your way in, into, out of, or through something. These phrases mean largely the same thing.

bluff used in a sentenceThe main differences are whether you are lying to get involved in a situation in which you do not belong (bluff your way into), you are lying in a general situation (bluff your way in [school]) or if you are trying to escape a (difficult) situation where you don’t belong (bluff your way out).

“I successfully bluffed my way through the interview,” suggests you were getting through a difficult situation by lying.

“She managed to bluff her way into government headquarters,” means you lied enter a place physically.

“They bluffed their way out of being crime suspects,” means they may have committed the crime, but they successfully convinced the investigators that they had nothing to do with it.

More Examples

  • A new survey has revealed the obvious: more than half of us have bluffed our way through conversations about world events. –The Guardian

Summary

The English phrase bluffing your way out of something is to get out of a difficult situation by deception or cunning that paints you in a better light.