check is in the mail

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check is in the mail

  1. (idiomatic) A common excuse used by debtors to put off creditors
    Your check is in the mail. I gave it to my son to mail yesterday. I hope he remembered.
    • 1989, Ceramics Monthly, page 77:
      The reply was usually either a story about financial problems, or the "check is in the mail" dodge.
    • 1992, Donald L. Barlett; James B. Steele, America: What Went Wrong?, page 155:
      It was the sure-fire sign of a business— or an individual— in financial distress: The old check-is-in-the-mail ploy.
    • 1997, Jeff Davidson, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Assertiveness, page 306:
      The person with whom you speak may be well schooled in the "check is in the mail" run-around.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often used ironically.