What Does The Sky’s the Limit Mean?

The Sky’s the Limit Meaning

Definition: Anything is possible; there’s no limit.

Origin of The Sky’s the Limit

This expression started appearing around the year 1900. The exact origin is unclear. Some attribute it to gambling, when there is no maximum bet. Others attribute it to the invention of flight.

An early example of the phrase can be found in the Syracuse Herald (1911):

  • Then good luck, and remember the sky’s the limit.

Fred Astaire and Joan Leslie also starred in a movie of the same name in 1943.

Examples of The Sky’s the Limit

the skies the limit In the dialogue below, two friends are at a restaurant eating sandwiches.

Tina: Hmmm. I’m not sure what I should get. I’d really like to get the number 8 sandwich on the menu, but it’s really expensive. I guess I’ll get the cheaper sandwich instead. Maybe I’ll get the number 3 sandwich.

Keanu: Don’t worry about the price. I invited you to lunch, so I’d like to pay for us both.

Tina: Really? Are you sure?

Keanu: Of course! So order whatever food you’d like.

Tina: Well, I don’t want to make you pay too much.

Keanu: Seriously, just order whatever you want. Order multiple sandwiches if you feel like it. Order the most expensive drink on the menu. The sky’s the limit!

Tina: Wow! Thanks!

sky is the limit In this example, two friends are discussing their careers and their futures.

Jonah: I think I’m just going to quit my job.

Tatiana: Why?

Jonah: I’m not making any progress. I haven’t had promotions.

Tatiana: Well, how long have you been working there?

Jonah: Two months.

Tatiana: Two months? That’s hardly any time at all. I think you just need to be patient. Over time I bet you’ll get lots of promotions. I’m sure you could become a supervisor, a manager, or a director. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll even become president of the company!

Jonah: Do you really think that’s possible?

Tatiana: Anything is possible. The sky’s the limit. But you have to stick with it for more than two months.

More Examples

This excerpt uses the expression to show the many opportunities for women interested in construction jobs.

  • “The sky’s the limit within construction for women. There are so many positions and opportunities that are starving for more female candidates,” said Karla Nugent, chief business development officer for Weifield Group Contracting in Denver. –Denver Post

The second example is about a pro wrestler who is becoming more and more famous.

  • “Looking objectively, Marty certainly has Ring of Honor world champion written all over him,” said Cole, who has known Scurll for nine years. “By the end of this year, a lot of people will be talking about what a great year that Marty had. The sky’s the limit for this guy.” –USA Today

Summary

The expression the sky’s the limit is something many people say to mean there is no price too high or there is no opportunity too impossible.

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