Let’s say you hand in a business project for your boss before the deadline. You hand it in on a Monday when the boss does not need it until Wednesday. You go home and check your email, only to find you have an unread email from your boss stating he absolutely needs it today. You have just accidentally saved your job. If you had not handed it in today you would have been fired. The thought that you barely avoided being fired on an “early-bird whim” fills you with a type of panic, followed by immense relief.

Is there another term or synonym for this kind of feeling besides the expression “to dodge a bullet”?

3 Answers 3


The idioms "a close call", "a close shave" and "a narrow escape" come to mind.

close call - noun [ C ]

A situation in which something bad, unpleasant, or dangerous almost happens, but you manage to avoid it:

  • It was a close call for residents when a tornado swept through just west of the town.
  • Getting to the airport on time was a close call.

close shave - noun [ C ]

A situation in which you come very close to a dangerous situation:

  • I had a close shave this morning - some idiot almost knocked me off my bike.

a narrow escape

A situation in which you avoid danger although you very nearly do not:

  • We got out in time but it was a narrow escape.

Cambridge Dictionary


In the US ( but apparently not in Britain) to luck out means

(colloquial, idiomatic, US, Canada, Australia) To experience great luck; to be extremely fortunate or lucky. I lucked out and got the last two tickets to the big show. - Wiktionary

So when you are telling your friend about it you can say, “Man, I really lucked out today. I decided to turn my project in today instead of Wednesday when it was supposed to be due, and then found out that my boss had actually asked me for it today. I could have gotten fired. guess I need to start reading my emails more regularly.”

  • 1
    The post describes a situation in which a narrow escape is based on blind good luck, but sometimes narrow escapes are based on reasoned decisions. Someone who escapes in this way is said to have" stepped back from the abyss." So I think "to luck out" is the best of the answers, because this answer implies that calamity was avoided serendipitously, whereas the other answers do not.
    – Airymouse
    Dec 25, 2016 at 4:35
  • Just as building can burn up or burn down, I believe you can "luck into" something as well as "luck out."
    – Airymouse
    Dec 26, 2016 at 1:11

"I just pulled a 'St. Elizabeth of Hungary.' " [ https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_of_Hungary?wprov=sfla1 "miracle of the roses" ]

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.