Is the idiom in the offing used and understood now? It is present in many lists of English idioms, but I have never encountered it in real life. However, if one makes a search on Google News, one will find out that this idiom is used in Indian news-sites that write in English. For some reason, it is more popular in India.

  • My search on google don't agree with your claim that it's mostly used by Indian English Daily. It's used throughout the world, mostly UK, US, IND and many others. Its usage is well understood, and in use pretty well. – Man_From_India Jan 1 '15 at 4:04
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    It's not so common as it once was; I think most Americans today would be more likely to say about to {happen / come off / &c} – StoneyB Jan 1 '15 at 4:05
  • @Man_From_India: I asked native speakers about this idiom, particularly a man in his 50s and a guy in his 20s. They had never heard it. – Graduate Jan 1 '15 at 4:47
  • @Graduate I see. It might be the case. I am really not aware of that :) But I did find result from US, UK and IND english about this term. Even in Google ngram it shows popular usage. But again I am not a native speaker, so I can't say it for sure. All I did is just a google search :) Consider StonyB's comment also :) he is a native speaker and bear through knowledge in these regards. – Man_From_India Jan 1 '15 at 5:11
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    I can't remember hearing this until I just stumbled across it here just now. I didn't even know what it meant. It sounded like something someone in organized crime might say: Make sure you leave no fingerprints or any other evidence in the offing of Guido tormorrow night. – J.R. Jan 1 '15 at 10:42

It's used in the US, but primarily when imitating a British accent, e.g. in the A C Doyle takeoff, Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire by Dean Turnbloom.

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    I'm not American but I'm not convinced by your claim that Americans primarily use "in the offing" when imitating the British: two of the examples in my answer are from American newspapers writing about things that have nothing to do with Britain. As I recall, when I was looking for those examples, I found plenty of other uses in American newspapers. – David Richerby Jan 8 '15 at 15:34

Yes, it's used. A quick Google News search gives plenty of examples outside the Indian press. For example, the following headlines:

  • "Bush-Clinton sequel may be in the offing for 2016" (Detroit Daily News, 24 December, 2014)

  • "Bigger home loan package in the offing" (Bangkok Post, 18th December, 2014)

  • "Board shake-up in the offing at Covered California?" (Sacramento Bee, 17 December, 2014)

  • "Don Cayo: Official letters confirm major tax increases in the offing for hundreds of businesses" (Vancouver Sun, 16 December 2014)

  • The article "MBE honour is ‘wonderful’, says Sheffield cinema leader" (Sheffield Telegraph, 1 January, 2015) leads with "A visit to Buckingham Palace is in the offing for Sheffield cinema leader Dr Stephen Perrin..."

Since it's used fairly often by the press, I assume it's fairly well understood by the readers.

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