off the cuff
Meaning: If you speak off the cuff, you speak without planning what you will say beforehand.
- She wasn't expecting to win, so she hadn't prepared a speech, but she still managed to say a few words off the cuff after being given the award.
- The prime minister keeps making off-the-cuff remarks that get him into trouble.
Origin: Possibly related to the fact that people sometimes write last-minute notes on the cuff of their shirt's sleeve before making a speech or saying a few words.
Professor Sacks had to give the lecture off the cuff because