What is the difference between 'day off' and 'off day'? What I found is 'day off' means a holiday when you are not working, while 'off day' is the day when you do not work up to the mark. Can anyone put more light on this?
you are correct, the word "off" like many small english words has a large number of meanings, some of them are even opposites.
"day off" meaning "not present this day" Either scheduled break or due to dishonesty, illness or other emergency.
off(adverb) "away from a place"
"off day" meaning "not performing well this day"
off(adjective) "not up to standard; not so good or satisfactory as usual; inferior or subnormal"
Yes, a day off is a holiday for someone or a day that they have taken off:
- a day on which somebody usually and regularly does not have to work
- a day on which somebody is allowed not to come into work
An off day for someone can mean same as day off, or that they are having a bad day at work:
- informal if somebody has an off day, they do not perform as well as usual.
- [US] a day when people do not go to work.
I believe the existing answers may be a little narrow, so I'll expand here. These phrases do not need to be confined to lacking presence at work, school, etc.
"Day off" may refer to any non-work related task or a situation.
I have a day off of parenting because my kid's away at camp.
My upstairs neighbor is on vacation so I have a day off from having to listen to them stomping around.
"Off day" needs certain other cues when used as the different definitions. To be used similarly to "day off", it is typically used in future tense, to describe a date, or else has the situation explicitly followed by the location/task/experience.
July 4th was an off day.
Friday is an off day.
I went to the beach this afternoon because today is an off day at work.
For "off day" to be used as a description of performance, emotion, or wellbeing, it's typically used in a more generic sense, used with "have", or else explicitly stated as pertaining to the speaker.
Today's just sort of an off day.
I was having a total off day yesterday.
Monday was such an off day for me.
Both of these phrases may also be used with other time indicators.
Christmas and New Years are both on weekends so to meet the required vacation days, they just gave us the whole week off!
It's just been an off month for me -- nothing's gone right for weeks!