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What part of speech is 'way off' and what's its meaning in the following sentences?

  1. Check out this list for some easy, repeatable good deeds that could be your way off of the naughty list this year.

  2. That guy can’t find his way off of a stage/room.

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  • 'Way off of' is only ever acceptable in US American; never in general English. That said, 'way off' usually means 'a long way from…' as in 'Your estimate is way off' but not in your examples. Very differently, the 'way off' a list means the 'route out of' or 'means of escape from.' 'That guy can’t find his way off a stage/room' is too strange for certain analysis. Isn't it clear, '… off a room' can't work? '… can't find his way off a stage' does work in grammar, exactly the same way 'way off' a list does, but what could it really mean? He's blind or drunk, stupid or what? Feb 21 at 22:00

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Way is a noun, meaning 'route' or 'method'. So the 'guy who can't find his way off a stage' is supposedly too stupid to work out how to leave the stage.

Some people use off of when off would be sufficient (see this question).

So 'your way off of the naughty list' is how to have yourself removed from an imaginary list of 'naughty people'.

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  • Also worth noting there are many adjectives that can go with "way", like up, down, in, out, forward, back, and so on, simply describing where the way leads. There can only be a "way off" something that you are "on", though, so you could find the "way off" a stage, but not the "way off" a park, for example. Feb 20 at 20:09
  • Note also that "off" can mean "error" or "mistake", and "way" can be an intensifier, like "very." That results in "way off (the mark)" being an idiom for "big mistake" or "very incorrect". For example: "John thought that Sandra liked him, but he was way off."
    – user8356
    Feb 20 at 22:23
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to have or find a way out/off of something
to have or find a way onto/into something
be someone's way out/off or onto something

Consider way off + of [noun] can be seen as a phrasal lexeme (verb) or a noun followed by a prepositional phrase.

  • Check out this list for some easy, repeatable good deeds that could be your way off of the naughty list this year.

  • That guy can’t find his way off of a stage/room.
    COMPARE:

  • Check out this list of bad deeds that could be your way onto the naughty list this year.

  • That guy can’t find his way onto a stage/room.

  • The way off [of] the mountain was through the pass.

  • The way out of the woods was down the stream.

  • He found his way into the city through the slums.

way here refers to the method of doing something or a path.

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