Posted by: janecronin | October 8, 2011

A unique industrial image

The thing about metaphors is that the become such a part of the language that we cease to realise what they mean.  This has happened, I think, to our expression “a one-off”, as in “There’s no one like Bill Bloggs, he’s a real one-off”.

This comes from the world of mass production, where everything that comes off the conveyor belt is identical.   Any “tailor-made” (another image) or more accurately “custom-made” item can also be referred to as a “one-off”.

Now you want to know what that is in Spanish – it is “fuera de serie”.  The “serie” or series is the line of production, and something “fuera de serie” stands out from it as different.

In Spanish a person who is “fuera de serie” can be just different – an odd-ball (where does that comes from?!)  or also outstanding. – you know like Messi or Nadal.


  1. What about “It was a near thing!” or “His is expecting a step up!” or

    “She’s on her way out”

  2. All the same sort of thing!

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