There is a scene in the movie Drinking Buddies where Gene and Luke are talking in a bar.

Gene: I've been ten minutes out since I got here. I had one of these, and then I said, "I'm gonna have one of those," and then here I am.

Luke: Yeah, it's hard once it starts going in.

What does I've been ten minutes out since I got here mean? Does it mean Gene has been there for ten minutes? The scene appears to be after they have been at the bar for a while, longer than 10 minutes. So I don't quite understand what Gene means here.

  • 1
    Is there anything earlier in the conversation about traveling to the bar? ten minutes out usually means "ten minutes away, arriving in ten minutes". It seems like a drunken paradox to me: "I've been ten minutes away since I got in the door."
    – TimR
    Jan 2, 2019 at 10:29
  • This doesn't appear to mean anything, except drunken people talking nonsense.
    – James K
    Mar 8, 2020 at 21:11
  • There is not enough context in your example to determine what was meant. The phrase you are asking about would generally mean you are ten minutes away from something happening or from something having happened. In your example, however, we cannot tell and it's possible that in situation the meaning in contextually different than the two I suggested.
    – EllieK
    Jul 14, 2020 at 13:52

3 Answers 3


A bit of a guess, but one meaning of "ten minutes out" is when a clock is wrong by ten minutes. ("My watch is ten minutes out" means it is either ten minutes fast or slow).

Maybe it's some sort of gag where the speaker is suggesting their sense of time is wrong by ten minutes?


Actually the "to be out" phrase can be used in many ways. It depends on a context. I hope a dictionary (https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/be+out) and a repeat of the scene will help you.


It seems to me Gene is drunk or high and has lost the ten minutes of his (conscious) memory just before he makes this observation: he had "one of these" - a drink, a pill? - after which he tells Luke ""I'm gonna have one of those," and then here I am", implying he doesn't remember anything about the time between deciding to have "one of those" and telling his friend about it.
I think it's safe to assume around ten minutes (must) have passed in between those two events.

'Out', then, can be defined as

  1. unconscious; senseless:
    Two drinks and he's usually out.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .