While editing a document for a client recently, I came across the phrase “buying time”. While the phrase is completely normal, in this context, it should’ve been “biding time”. So what’s the difference?

Biding time

To bide means to wait, so biding one’s time is just another way of saying “to wait” or “to be patient”.

Buying time

To buy time, on the other hand, means to postpone something or to stall, as in “He’s running late, so I’m going to buy him some more time.”

About Kim Siever

I am a copywriter and copyeditor. I blog on writing tips mostly, but I sometimes throw in my thoughts about running a small business. Follow me on Twitter at @hotpepper.

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