Have you ever had a chance to do something but didn’t take advantage of it? Maybe you wanted to go to a concert or a sports game but didn’t check the ticket sales date. So, by the time you looked for tickets, they were all sold out. Maybe you wanted to join a school club but missed the signup deadline. When this happens, someone might say to you that you missed the boat! Continue reading to learn the meaning and origin of the English idiom, missed the boat.
Missed the Boat
Missed the boat is a commonly used English idiom. You can easily hear it in movies, TV series, and daily conversations in real life. Learning idioms and commonly used expressions is a great way to improve your English vocabulary and conversation skills.
Missed the Boat Meaning
Missing or failing to take advantage of an opportunity.
Missed the Boat Origin
In the 1700s, boat transport was the main way to get around in England. To miss the boat meant that you were stuck, and you had to wait for the next boat. You missed the opportunity to take the first boat that you originally wanted to get on.
You can also say misses the boat or miss the boat depending on the sentence.
Missed the Boat Examples
Here are some example sentences using missed the boat. Go through the examples, and try to come up with your own sentence. Miss the boat in a sentence:
- James didn’t check the application deadline, so he missed the boat.
- If you don’t buy the tickets now and wait until next week, you’ll figure out that you have missed the boat by then.
- Sara now has a boyfriend. You missed the boat. I told you to confess your feelings earlier!
- I’m a bit tight on cash, but I still want to buy this during boxing day. I don’t want to miss the boat!
- I keep the important dates on my calendar, so I don’t miss the boat for any of those!
Other Idioms and Expressions
If you want to learn more idioms and English expressions, check out these ones too!
FAQs About English Idiom Missed the Boat
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the English expression, missed the boat.
Where did the phrase missed the boat come from?
Missed the boat is British English slang. In the 1700s, the boat was the main transportation method. A lot of these boats moved on a fixed schedule. So, if anyone arrived too late for a scheduled boat, they literally missed the boat. At the time, it was used in a literal way, but now we use it as an idiom that refers to missing any type of opportunity.
How do you use don’t miss the boat in a sentence?
Don’t miss the boat in a sentence:
- Submit your application now, and don’t miss the boat.
- If you have feeling for him, go tell him now. Don’t miss the boat!
- If you don’t want to miss the boat, write the important dates on your calendar or diary.
What does missed the boat mean?
If you missed a boat, it means that you missed an opportunity or failed to take advantage of an opportunity.
Missed the Boat: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on this commonly used English expression? Have you ever heard it on TV or during a conversation? Now that you know what it means and where it comes from, try making your own sentence using “missed the boat.” This way, you will easily remember the new expression you learned today. If there is another English idiom you want to learn, let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!