American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

Out of one’s element


Away from a familiar environment. In strange circumstances; not acclimated to one’s environment. A ‘stranger in a strange land’. The phrase typically is a condescending portrayal of someone who is beneath them. Cinderella, for example, was out of her element at the royal castle; an illiterate person in a library would be out of their element. (Compare to Uncharted territory.)

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