live off the country


Senior Member
Estonian - Estonia
Taken from series "Attenborough in Paradise". In that episode they wandering in jungle and searching new tribe. He explaining, why there are 106 carriers with them: If you want to stay longer than a fortnight, and we do, well, you've either got to arrange for an air drop or else you've got to live off the country. We can't live off the country because there are very few people here, and anyway, turning up to dinner with 106 porters is hardly a way to endear yourself.

I can't understand that joke. As he is in jungle, what about live off the country? What that expression means?
  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    To "live off the country" is to supply your need for food, drink, shelter, etc. with what is already available there, rather than with supplies you brought with you. In this case, that would involve either hunting local animals and gathering edible local fruit and plants (which are not skills most modern people have), or obtaining food from the people who live in the jungle -- except there aren't many people in the jungle, and the few who do live there do not have enough food for 106 additional visitors.
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