I'm increasingly hearing the phrase "out of pocket" used in America as a colloquialism to mean "away from the office", "unavailable", or "incommunicado".
I apologize for not replying sooner; I have been out of pocket.
- What is the etymology of this usage?
It always sounds odd to me, since I had previously always associated the phrase with expenses, e.g., "I had to pay for the service out of pocket," meaning, "I had to pay for the service using my own money."
- Should either of these usages be avoided?
- What is the extent of their acceptance?