A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Welcome to English in a Minute, where we teach you all about idioms in American English.

If you have ever heard American English, you may have heard this: a day late and a dollar short.

What does this mean? Let's find out by listening to an American English conversation.

A: Hey- did you hear Steve was late to the birthday party, and he forgot to bring a gift!
B: Yes, I did, he is always a day late  and a dollar short to everything.
A: I know!

When people say a day late and a dollar short, they mean you are too late, unprepared, or ....... disorganized.

You only want to say this with your friends, because it is an informal phrase.

You don't want to use this in a formal or a business setting, because it may be rude.

Remember, a lot of American English delivered by your facial expressions.

And that's English in a Minute.