How is the phrase 'rough it' used?


I learned 'rough it' is used for the event that lasts for a short time like in camping. Does that mean you cannot say, "I roughed it during WWII because of the shortage of food"? ( War lasted for long. ) Is it used only for camping?
  • perpend

    American English
    I really wouldn't use it for the war case, but I couldn't consider it incorrect.

    I think of "to rough it" sometimes more as "to improvise" ... "to get through", and not always be about food, if that makes sense.


    Senior Member
    I might even say we're "roughing it" at work: we're doing some construction and we will have to park outside all winter instead of in the covered parking garage! It would be a bit of a joke, because we sound rather feeble for complaining.
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